The former Manchester United boss highlights mitigating circumstances
Alex Ferguson has called for patience as he backs current Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the club's most successful said injuries and other factors had impacted on United's form during this season.
"It is dead easy to be critical. You have to be realistic about some things – the number of injuries he has had: Phil Jones has played only seven games this season, Ashley Young, Valencia, Shaw, these are big losses. It doesn't matter which team you are, if you have players missing of that calibre it has to have an impact on the team," said Ferguson, who also praised Van Gaal's willingness to delve into the academy and described Marcus Rashford as "sensational".
"The other aspect which is always easy to forget there are also five new players in their first season at United, and two are young players in Martial and Memphis and their promise is good.
"You have to have some patience being a Manchester United fan and they have shown that over the years; in Matt Busby's time, in my time. For 150 years of history it is worth having a couple of years on the quiet side of success because they will always come back and come back strong."