David Moyes remains adamant that Manchester United can retain their Premier League crown despite suffering a fourth league defeat of the season and slipping down to ninth in the table.
United are now 12 points behind league leaders Arsenal after Moyes' former club Everton secured a 1-0 win at Old Trafford.
With 14 league fixtures already having been played United supporters would have expected to be challenging at the top of the table despite the major changes that took place over the course of the summer.
However, Moyes remains confident that his side will turn around their fortunes and will be able to challenge the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City for the Premier League title.
"We have got a long way to go," Moyes told the Manchester Evening News. "We will need to play some great football and win an awful lot of games in the run-in if we going to be in there and around it come the end of the season."
Quizzed on whether he believed his side could produce a run of results, he said: "Yeah - I've got nothing to suggest anything else."
United had gone 12 games without defeat in all competitions before the defeat to Everton but a late Bryan Oviedo goal was enough to secure victory for Roberto Martinez's side.
There were opportunities as Danny Welbeck hit the crossbar and Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard pulled off impressive saves from Patrice Evra and Adnan Januzaj, but ultimately it was another unsatisfactory result.
"I'm disappointed to lose but that is the way the game goes sometimes," he added. "The game was tight. We missed some opportunities to score and Everton took it when they got their opportunity.
"I know they are a very good team, Everton, with very good players. You would imagine it is a sore one when it is your old team. That is the way it is."