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The former Old Trafford defender has urged the Black Cats to treat the Red Devils seriously despite their unspectacular form, and says the visitors will be desperate for victory

Wes Brown has warned his Sunderland team-mates that his former side Manchester United will be looking to atone for their poor season in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg.

David Moyes has endured a tricky start to life as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor, with the Red Devils seventh in the Premier League table, 11 points adrift of Arsenal, and out of the FA Cup following defeat to Swansea at Old Trafford on Sunday.

But Brown, who played 362 times in his 15 years at United, believes his former club will be gunning for success in the Capital One Cup this season.

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"They won't be happy with results so far," Brown told the Guardian. "United are used to being top three in the league all the time. They won the title last season and would have been expecting to win it again this year, but a lot has changed and it's maybe taking a bit more time than expected to get things right.

"In all my years at United I can't remember losing too many semi-finals. We had a pretty good record once we reached the later stages of cups. We were favourites in most of them and I can't recall us losing to an underdog.

“United are pretty much up there with the best when it comes to reaching cup finals so we're under no illusions. It's a tough ask. If he plays, I might have to kick Wayne [Rooney], let him know I'm there."

Brown won five Premier League titles, three League Cups, two FA Cups and the Champions League twice under Ferguson’s tutelage and believes Moyes is not the only managr who would have struggled to fill such enormous boots.

"Personally I feel it would have been the same for whoever had gone in to replace Sir Alex Ferguson,” he said. “I feel sure United will turn it around but, right now, not being up there with the top teams, they'll be hurting.

"So many of their players have won so many things and their pride will have been dented. I'm sure they all believe that if they carry on giving 100 per cent it will all come right but, until then, they've got to stick together."

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