Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has stressed his side "need some time" to get up to speed in the new Premier League season.
United were beaten 3-2 by Brighton and Hove Albion in their second game of the campaign and they face Tottenham at Old Trafford on Monday already six points behind the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea, albeit with a game in hand.
Rumours of discontent behind the scenes at Old Trafford have been swirling and Mourinho's terse press conference last week did little to dispel the notion all is not well.
In terms of United's on-field fortunes, Mourinho has welcomed the Spurs fixture coming eight days after the Brighton contest as he feels his players entered the new campaign without sufficient preparation.
"When you have a good week, when you train really well, things are positive, you expect good individual performances," he told Sky Sports.
"You don't expect mistakes and you expect a good result, not a defeat.
"Normally when you lose you want to play immediately and two days after that was not the case. But I am happy that was not the case because in this moment we need some time.
"We need players to be back, we need players to train more, to have a kind of pre-season after the pre-season that they didn't have after the World Cup."