UNITED have been set a 90-point Premier League title target by manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
That was the figure that clinched the league crown for the Reds last May, but the previous two campaigns had seen them lift the trophy with points hauls of 87 (2008) and 89 (2007).
United have won the title once before in the 1999-2000 campaign with a 90-point haul, but the record is 95 achieved by Chelsea in 2005.
With just two games gone and already a defeat on their stats, Ferguson believes United cannot afford too many more losses.
"There is not much leeway. Last season we got a points total of 90 and I think that is probably going to be around the average in this particular type of league," he said.
"Even though we say it is the most competitive league, I still you have to think of 90 points as the winner.
"Liverpool got 86 last season and were second. That was an exceptional total, too.
"Every season we keep saying it is getting tighter and harder but you still have to think of that 90-point total, and it will be the same this year."
United have made a habit of dropping points early in the campaign and Burnley's success at Turf Moor on Wednesday added to the woe.
"Part of our history in a way is that we have dropped points early in the season," added Sir Alex.
Our starts in the last two or three years have been a bit topsy turvy.
"But it is not just Manchester United, it is throughout the league. You only have Tottenham and Chelsea with two wins.
"We don't like losing in situations like that, when we should have won. It is another day in the history of Manchester United.
"It was not the kind of part of our history we like but it is part of it.
"It has happened before and it will happen again. The issue now, as it always is at this club, is when you have a defeat what do you do about it?"
Michael Carrick's penalty miss at Burnley shattered the Reds' hopes of a recovery.
It was a surprise when the midfielder stepped up considering the likes of Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen were potential candidates.
"Michael asked to take the penalty. He felt confident taking it. He hadn't missed one in penalty shoot-outs," said Fergie.
"Anderson can take a penalty kick. Giggs can take a penalty kick. They have been successful. Wayne would take a penalty kick."
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