Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole believes the Reds are well placed to win back the Barclays Premier League trophy, despite suffering last-day heartache in a thrilling climax to the 2011/12 season.
In fact, it’s precisely because Sir Alex’s men were so close to glory – a matter of seconds – that Cole says there’s no need to panic about the future.
“Yes, we lost the league, but that doesn’t mean we need an overhaul,” he told ManUtd.com. “Manchester City spent almost £300million to reach this level and only won the league on goal difference.
“I’m not disputing they were the best team last season – you can never argue with the league table – but they’ve had to spend a lot of money to even get near us. That’s why I think we’re in good shape. And whoever the manager signs between now and the start of the season will only improve that squad.”
Players are due back at Carrington for pre-season training later this week after a break that, Cole says, will have felt like “a very long summer”.
“You want to win something every single season so when you don’t your time off is naturally going to drag a bit. But they’ll come back doubly determined to do well this season.
“When you’ve lost the league you want to get straight back on the horse, so to speak, and set about regaining that trophy. As soon as last season finished they would have been thinking about this season. They’ll be thinking about how they can win it back, where it went wrong...
“At United, you never stand still or dwell on anything – good or bad. That’s the mindset that’s drummed into you at the club. I remember in 1999, after we won the Treble, the manager was already looking forward to next season.”