Michael Carrick insists it would be a mistake to write Manchester United off despite their current lack of goals.
United head into tonight's Carling Cup quarter-final with Crystal Palace at Old Trafford having scored just 15 times in their last 10 games.
It took them only three matches to amass the same number during their early season purple patch, and seven of their last 15 have come in two meetings with Romanian minnows Otelul Galati, plus a trip to Aldershot in the previous round of the cup.
Following Saturday's draw with Newcastle there has been fresh focus placed on a midfield short on numbers and, according to a sizeable body of fans, quality.
But Carrick feels it is too early to make any bold assertions about how United's season is going to unfold.
“With United, it always seems to be the case that if you lose a game or have an indifferent match or two the roof caves in, or that is what people on the outside think,” he said.
“We have been here before. We have had bad results and bad runs, a lot worse than the one we are on at the minute.
“Experience tells us to be patient. People can write us off if they want but hopefully we will be there at the end of the season.”
With Anderson and Tom Cleverley on the long-term injured list, Sir Alex Ferguson is considering handing Paul Pogba — who is a target for rivals Manchester City — his full debut.
Much talked-about midfielder Ravel Morrison may accompany the 18-year-old too as Ferguson begins to discover whether the most talented members of last season's FA Youth Cup-winning squad can make the step up to senior ranks.
Carrick, for one, has no doubts.
“I would back them to produce, definitely,” said the England international. They certainly have the talent. They are good players. They wouldn't be threatening to play if they weren't.
“This is a great place to learn your trade and they have been doing things right. The manager is the best at guiding young players through when he sees they are ready.”