Gary Pallister believes Manchester United can turn season around

Former Manchester United defender Gary Pallister insists Erik ten Hag’s side can qualify for next season’s Champions League – but only if they make big improvements.

It has been a poor start to the 2023/24 season for the Reds, but we went into the international break with some optimism after beating Brentford 2-1 thanks to Scott McTominay’s stoppage-time brace.

With the top five Premier League clubs set to qualify for next season’s Champions League (one more than usual), Gary Neville has gone on record saying he thinks United will fall short to achieve that.

I think a lot of fans would agree with that based on what they’ve seen so far this season – as well as the ongoing injury crisis which continues to strip to squad each week.

However, Gary Pallister is not writing off United.

“I think Gary (Neville) is looking at the way we’re playing at the moment and saying if we would play like that for the rest of the season,” Pallister told OLBG, as relayed by the Manchester Evening News. “Every game we’ve played this season has been a struggle.

“We’ve stumbled over the line and if Gary is going off what he’s seen so far this season, and saying we’re not going to finish in the top five, then who could argue with him? I wouldn’t say the top five is unachievable, it has been tough to get points on the board, but we’re still in touch.

“We’ve got to find a balance, we’ve got to get players fit, we have to get Rashford scoring goals again. Hojlund looks like a great player, certainly in that Galatasaray game, which was his best game in the United shirt so far.

“Get all these players firing, Mason Mount playing like he did for Chelsea and England, get the balance right and take it from there. It’s hard to believe that this side did what they did last season and has started the way they have this year, but the potential is there, and the players are there; we just need some luck with injuries.”

Pallister added: “Well, I think if were to get beat by Sheffield United, then it’s just going to add to the chaos at the moment. The Man City game, I always think at this moment in time is pretty much a free hit. I know they’ve had their problems without Rodri and Kevin de Bruyne. They’ve looked like meer mortals over the last few weeks, but we know this City side is going to bounce back, especially when Rodri is back in the midfield. 

“I never put any pressure on a team when they’re playing Man City because the expectations are at the moment, unfortunately, that they’re the best team in Europe, if not the World.

“The Sheffield United game is the one that stands out. If we were to lose that game, then you’ve got to understand what’s coming. Sheffield United have had a difficult time adjusting to the Premier League. They might be looking at Manchester United and thinking they’re not the side they were last season, and if we can take the game to them, then maybe we have a chance.”

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