Louis van Gaal has warned there is no quick fix for Manchester United and that, if history is anything to go by, they will "struggle" for the first three months.
Van Gaal, who led his new side to a third straight victory on the US tour when they beat Inter Milan on Tuesday, claimed before the match he had inherited a "broken squad" from predecessor David Moyes.
And the former Ajax, Bayern Munich and Barcelona manager says United's players will have difficulty adapting to his new 3-5-2 system -- much like they did at his other clubs.
"Every club where I have been, I have struggled for the first three months," Van Gaal said. "After that, they know what I want, how I am as a human being and also as a manager because I am very direct.
"I say things as they are, so you have to adapt to that way of coaching. It's not so easy and also the way I train and coach is in the brains and not the legs.
"A lot of players are playing intuitively and I want them to think and know why they do something. That's a process that is difficult at first.
"When we survive for the first three months, it will be the same as at Bayern. After three months there, we were seventh [in the Bundesliga] and third in the Champions League [group]. We had to win at Juventus, we did and that was the turning point."
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Van Gaal said he is also relishing the prospect of taking on current champions Manchester City. The Dutchman has been part of some fierce rivalries before, having taken charge of Ajax against Feyenoord, Barcelona against Real Madrid and Bayern Munich against Borussia Dortmund.
Asked for his thoughts on having his side's most bitter rivals in the same city, he replied: "Whether they are 10 metres away or 30 kilometres away, it does not bother me.
"But it is amazing because they were not a big club and now already champions and they have also won the [FA] Cup in the last three years.
"They are knocking at the door but that is good for Manchester United also because where there is competition you can be proud when you are the champion at the end and maybe we will be the champions."
Key European club fixtures
French Ligue 1 -- Aug. 8
FA Community Shield: Manchester City vs. Arsenal -- Aug. 10
German Super Cup: Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich -- Aug. 13
English Premier League -- Aug. 16
Spanish Super Cup: Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid -- Aug. 19 and 22
Spanish La Liga/German Bundesliga -- Aug. 23
Italian Serie A -- Aug. 30