Manchester United manager David Moyes has warned his team may not have reached their worst form yet, despite their insipid 4-1 derby loss.
The long-time Everton mentor has endured a tricky start to his reign at Old Trafford, and it culminated in a heavy loss at the Etihad on Sunday, as Manchester City ran riot over the reigning English Premier League champions.
The defeat left United in eighth spot with just seven points from five matches, their worst start to a season in nine years.
And in an ominous sign for United's premiership defence, Moyes tipped there could be more heartache to come for the red half of Manchester.
"Not for a minute did I think this Manchester United job was going to be an easy job," Moyes said.
"There will be days like we had on Sunday, and there might be more of them because we're in a period where there will be transition.
"There's a new manager for the players, and in turn there will be new players as well at different times, so obviously that will happen.
"It does mean I may have to take a few more blows, definitely. Maybe even more than that - maybe all season I'll have to take a few blows - but I knew this was going to be the case because I was taking over from a great manager and it was always going to take time for me to get my own ways and change things round a little bit.
"It doesn't mean big jobs but there will be some things. I think a lot of people thought Manchester United (won the title) last season but it was probably the form of other teams that was poor."
Headlining United's recent woes was a lack of transfer activity, with Moyes bringing in his former midfield general Marouane Fellaini from Goodison Park.
The club defended Moyes' transfer inactivity, though, claiming it was key to hold onto England striker Wayne Rooney.
And Moyes, himself, refused to blame the quality of cattle at his disposal.
"I don't think it's actually the squad. I think we've got numbers," the 50-year-old manager said.
"I think maybe where we've got work to do is bring players in, not for the squad, but to go right into the team, so that's the slightly different equation.
"It's not necessarily squad players we needed. We needed one or two who might have just gone straight into the team. But that will happen.
"Going back to that transfer window, we always said it was going to be a tough one and it was going to take a little bit more time."
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