Former Manchester United defender John O’Shea is sure that his former club will achieve their aim of a top four finish this season despite their shaky rearguard.
While the Red Devils invested heavily in their attack over the summer, Louis van Gaal opted against addressing the losses of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.
And with a series of injuries having hit more experienced players including Jonny Evans and Phil Jones, the Dutchman has been forced to use rookie starlets such as Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett.
As a result United have leaked 10 goals in seven games – including five away to newly-promoted Leicester City – which is the highest total in the current top six and level with top tier newbies Burnley.
Yet O’Shea – who netted a dramatic goal against Germany for the Republic of Ireland earlier this week is sure his old side will achieve their aims for the campaign:
“No I don’t think so.” He said when asked by talkSPORT if United’s defence will affect their ambitions.
“I think they’ve just been very unfortunate with injures, and consistency for a back-four is very important.
“If Jonny Evans stays fit he’ll be crucial for them, he’s a very good player, he talks and organises the defence.
“If they’re chopping and changing, with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and the new signings as well, they can’t get a run of games together, and consistency is the key for any team aiming for the top-four.
“A lot of people have been talking about the team’s experience as well, and with losing Rio [Ferdinand], Vida [Nemanja Vidic] and Patrice [Evra] it was always going to be tough for them this season.
“But it isn’t a question of personnel, I think they have the players there to get to the top four, without a doubt, so once they get their defence sorted I sure they’ll be fine.”