Adam Marshall thinks it's all about the long game at United...
Patience isn't a word often associated with football in the 21st Century. Knee-jerk reactions abound, just like they always have.
Except now they have an outlet, and not merely over a post-match pint with your pals. Thanks to social media and radio phone-ins, judgement is instant, let alone swift. Players, managers and teams are written off in the heat of the moment when tensions are high and emotions still raw. Furthermore, many fans play Championship Manager and other realistic games and simulations where seasons can be over in a matter of days with players ageing before your eyes.
Thankfully, at Manchester United, patience is still a virtue and one that runs throughout the club. It goes without saying how the faith from the board enabled Sir Alex to build his dynasty at Old Trafford, carefully laying the foundations for unprecedented success while the media, and a small section of the fans, clamoured for a change that would have altered the course of history.
Monday's opponents Blackburn Rovers have benefited from sticking with Steve Kean when a sacking seemed inevitable and deserve to be rewarded with Barclays Premier League salvation come May.
Look no further than David De Gea and Jonny Evans for examples at first-team level. De Gea was an easy target for the press at the start of his United career, filling the huge shoes of Edwin van der Sar. Yet he's emerged as a key figure in recent matches, much like Evans, who some were happy to write off as a United player but is now ManUtd.com's latest Player of the Month.
Yet patience permeates much deeper at United. This struck me whilst watching the Reserves against Everton last week at Finch Farm.