Rio Ferdinand believes former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo should not be criticised for joining Real Madrid.
The Portuguese ace has upset some for ditching the Red Devils to move to the Bernabeu in a world-record £80m transfer.
But Ferdinand does not feel Ronaldo deserves this criticism as he was following a boyhood dream.
Instead, he believes it is up to the remaining United players to step up and plug the gap caused by the sale of Ronaldo.
Ferdinand told the Daily Telegraph: "I don't think any of the lads are bitter or should be bitter towards Ronny.
"He came here as a young lad and gave six years of his career to this club.
"So bearing in mind that careers average out at between 10-12 years, he's given half his career to one club, this club, and I think you have to respect that.
"You can't put a shadow over someone's dream. Since he was a kid, he wanted to play for Real Madrid.
"Playing for Manchester United is the Holy Grail for some people and it is those people who probably don't understand why he wants to go somewhere else that equals the Holy Grail."
He believes the United side now need to pull together, but insists they have the quality and understanding to cope.
"We will be a lot more compact as a team with Cristiano gone, more compact in midfield and harder to break down," he reflected.
"One thing I'm sure of is that Ronaldo going will bring the best out in our players.
"We know he scored a lot of goals in the last two seasons for us, but we have players who are capable of doing that and I'm sure they can go out there, do that job and fill the gap.
"The longevity and time we have had together as a team, learning each other's games and personalities is a big weapon, and one we have to use. We have the mentality of winners.
"Other people are going to have to take responsibility because there are goals that have gone out of our team that need to be made up."