Sir Alex Ferguson admits Manchester United have a fight on their hands if they wish to retain their Premier League title following Sunday’s derby defeat by Manchester City.
United are five points behind main rivals Chelsea after claiming just two points from their opening three games.
“We have given ourselves an uphill fight, there is no doubt about that,” said Ferguson after Sunday’s 1-0 defeat.
“We have to get a win under our belts. We have Tottenham on Sunday. That has become a very important game for us.”
United have made their worst start since 1992, when they drew one and lost two of their first three games, although they did bounce back that season to claim the Premier League title.
United’s main problem appears to be up front where the absence through injury of Wayne Rooney, Louis Saha and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been keenly felt. Despite dominating possession in each of their three matches, United have scored just one goal from their opening three games to date.
“We had enough chances and played fantastic football at times,” Ferguson added of Sunday’s defeat.
“We were just wasteful, we had so many opportunities to win it ourselves.
“I can’t fault the performance – we completely dominated. But we should have sewn the game up.
“Of course you miss strikers but the number of chances we had and the amount of possession we should have won the game.
“At this moment in time we have to rely on our experience and make sure we do not get carried away with a knee-jerk reaction,” he added.