Nicky Butt
Nicky Butt is currently coach at the Under 21 side. Getty

Former Manchester United star and coach Nicky Butt has backed Louis Van Gaal at Old Trafford, claiming the struggling start to the campaign was eventually expected after a huge summer overhaul.

Despite an erratic beginning, the Premier League giants returned to the Champions League for the first time in a year after back-to-back victories over West Ham.

"It's been up and down this season but I think that was to be expected. I think everyone would admit last season was a tough one but the new manager has come in, changed a lot of things and brought in a lot of new players, and anyone who didn't expect it to be up and down are dreamers," Butt said in a statement on Manchester United official website.

"Hopefully we're getting to the stage now where the players are learning the manager's ways and the players that he's bought are getting used to the squad, their team-mates and the environment here."

Butt, who is currently a coach at the club with the under-21s, has been especially impressed by the way Ander Herrera and Daley Blind have adapted to the Premier League pace.

"They've both settled in really well," Butt said.

Even though Herrera has struggled with a couple of injuries since his summer arrival to Old Trafford, he has already proved his worth, controlling the tempo of the game and shaping the game in the midfield 4-4-2 diamond deployed by van Gaal.

"Ander has been unlucky with some injuries but he's scored a couple of goals and has looked positive and calm on the ball."

Blind has also excelled at the base of the diamond, keeping the balance of the team.

"Daley has come in and helped to shore things up - he's probably one of the only, if you like, natural sitting midfielders that we have," Butt said.

"Fletch [Darren Fletcher] always likes to get about the pitch and get forward, while Carras [Michael Carrick] is more of a passer and dictator. Daley is very much a protective player, but he can pass the ball as well. He's looked strong and comfortable."

Meanwhile, Butt has also hailed the arrivals of Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria to forge an impressive attack with Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney.

He said: "I think it's hard not to be excited [about the season], especially when you look at the forward line we've got now. The whole squad we have is very exciting. I'm sure there will be more ups and downs but United fans know all about that.

"We've got a lot of goals in our locker and hopefully there will be a lot more ups than downs and we'll be near the top of the table come the end of the season."