MANCHESTER (AFP) - Alex Ferguson has warned the rest of the Premier League that Manchester United have yet to hit their best form this season.
United travel to Stoke on Saturday sitting in second place in the table behind Chelsea and in a position most managers would be more than happy with at this stage of the campaign.
But Ferguson is still smarting at the champions' loss to Burnley at Turf Moor in August, even though his side have reeled off six straight wins in all competitions since that shock setback.
So far, there has been little evidence of United suffering from the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid in the summer and their manager adamant his squad will get better in October.
"We had a bad start, there's no doubt about that, but the form of the team has been coming on well," the Scot said at his weekly press conference on Friday.
"Our best performance was at White Hart Lane (a 3-1 win over Tottenham). I'm happy with our form now. We have the squad and my only dilemma is who to play.
"Usually October sees us become more consistent and hopefully that will be the case again.
"The squad is a strong one and my only problems seems to be who to pick for each game."
One person guaranteed to be involved is Ryan Giggs, who has shown the form of his life in recent weeks to defy the fact he is entering the twilight of his career.
Ferguson is full of praise for the 35-year-old and believes he is playing some of the best football of his career.
He said: "I don't know what more there is to say about him! It's not a matter of defying age with him because there has been no deterioration in his game at all and it's remarkable.
"It's down to how he has lived his life, how he has looked after himself and done the right things and his form is just as good as it was last year."
Ferguson is expecting a tough encounter at Stoke, where manager Tony Pulis has created a side well on the way to becoming established in the Premier League.
Having avoided relegation with some comfort last season, Stoke have twice as many points than they did at this stage last year and Ferguson is impressed.
"What can you say about them? They are a club that is really on the way up.
"They are a well run club and their home record was very good last year. It won't be an easy game. I'm not surprised. They've got fantastic support. People say its the noisiest place in the country and I wouldn't disagree with that.
"Coming up from the Championship is never easy, but when I was there last season I noticed a marked change in the club. They have a good management structure and chairman and I think they will become a force."