Mark Hughes believes Manchester United's players need to be motivated by a fear of failure, as he was during his playing days at Old Trafford.
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The Welshman scored 163 goals in two spells as a United player and won 12 trophies, including their first league title for 26 years, which was secured under Sir Alex Ferguson's management in 1993.
But Hughes, whose Stoke team inflicted United's eighth league defeat of the season in Saturday's 2-1 win at the Britannia Stadium, also experienced difficult times at the start of the Scot's reign and believes the defending champions need characters who can cope with the pressure of playing for the club.
"Obviously, there is huge focus on them," he told national newspapers. "But you have to deal with that attention. I used to use that as a motivation.
"From my point of view it was fear of failure. It was like: 'Don't let anyone have the opportunity to criticise.' That was what drove me on and I would suggest it's what drove a lot of United players on. United have always had that and they have players in their group now who have it.
"There will be pressure, that's obvious, but it goes with the territory."
Hughes believes his beleaguered United counterpart David Moyes will succeed at Old Trafford, despite his troubled start after succeeding Ferguson.
"It's difficult but he's got good qualities as a manager and he's not green behind the gills," he added. "He's been successful at his previous club.
"He will come through it. He will get it right I am sure. There's no reason why he can't shape the club in his own image and get success."