“We’ve got to be happy with the position we’re in,” Phelan told ManUtd.com. "But obviously for a club like ours and with the quality of players we have we need to be producing better football.
“We know we can do that, we just need to get into our rhythm. There is certainly room for improvement.”
Indeed, the Reds have conceded first in four of the season’s six matches so far and have led at half-time just twice. It’s hardly the hallmark of champions, and yet nobody else in England has looked any more assured.
“Everyone is feeling their way into the season and looking at the depths of squads of each club and who’s playing and who’s not,” Phelan said.
“It’s a bit like you’re putting a jigsaw together at the moment, but you’ve still got to make sure you get results and we’re managing to do that.
“We’re not in a great vein of form but we’re managing to get results and that will only help us when we do kick into gear and the team starts to perform as a whole.”
Phelan has been impressed, however, by a number of individuals’ performances, especially the new arrivals.
“Robin [van Persie] has come in and made an instant impact,” he said. “He’s still chasing a little bit of fitness and is still in that settling-in period, but he’s a top-drawer player and that’s what we needed.