West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Mowbray refused to be too despondent after his side’s humbling at Old Trafford.
He said: “Spirits are fine. We’re not being judged on that performance. Supporters have come here and are disappointed that we lost 4-0.
“We’re all disappointed but I thought that for long periods of the game, we showed we can compete in areas of the pitch.
“Ultimately, their quality in the top end of the pitch won them the game. I don’t know how other teams approach it at Old Trafford but I thought we were as positive as we could be.
“You can play 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 but who marks Berbatov when he drops into the hole between your midfield and defence and who picks up Rooney when he drops in there and gets turned?
“You’ve got to have a gameplan to prevent it and for 55 minutes I thought we did it pretty well.
“They had plenty of the ball in front of us but we had the ball for spells, then all of a sudden they scored and it loosened the shackles a bit and we had to be a bit more adventurous. Then it was two, three and four and it was finished.”
Plenty of teams would have lost to United by several goals given the quality of their second-half performance, which is why Mowbray remains confident of his team’s ability to be competitive with the bulk of the division.
He added: “I looked at the Premier lLeague results today and only the top four can score any goals week in, week out. I am not making a money issue but if you have £30?million players where it matters, you are going to win games and that is where the gulf is.”
Meanwhile, Albion captain Jonathan Greening insists his team will not compromise their beliefs or be scared of persevering with their bright brand of football against the top teams in the country.
Greening said: “I think Sir Alex Ferguson must have had a pop at his players at half-time and they stepped it up a little bit. We kept in it in the first ten minutes but the first goal killed it really and we struggled to get back into the game after that.
“Once they got that spring in their step ,there was no stopping them.”
Far from being downbeat, Greening says his side can learn much from the way they played.
“We came here today to stop United playing and try to play when we had the ball. We did in patches – but you can’t stop that wealth of talent.”