Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville expects his old side to be relishing the challenge of proving their doubters wrong in the forthcoming season.
United were pipped to the Barclays Premier League title by neighbours City on the final day of the season. With an embarrassing exit from the Champions League group stage and a trophyless end to the season there was an inevitable debate about how good Sir Alex Ferguson's team actually was.
But Neville believes questions about the club's ability to win silverware will only spur on the players. He told www.manutd.com: "You can bet they would have had a frustrating summer after not winning any trophies last season."
He added: "The beauty of football is that you start afresh each year with a clean slate.
"United now have an opportunity to put things right. The challenge this season is always the same: it's to win the Premier League, do well in the cups and do well in the Champions League.
"That challenge never changes but, obviously, when you don't win anything you have an added incentive because people start to question the team and wonder if the empire is crumbling.
"The manager and the players have had to cope with all that before, so this challenge is something they'll all be looking forward to.
"You can go back over 20 years and probably count on both hands the number of pre-season games Manchester United have lost.
"There's no question players give 100 per cent. The nature of the club, the nature of the players, the nature of the manager is such that you always go out to win."