Sir Alex Ferguson has conceded that Manchester United will need to improve their defensive form if they are to win the Premier League this season, despite currently setting the pace at the top of the table.
United earned their fifth win in six games on Saturday, but had to come from behind twice to secure a 4-3 victory against newly promoted Reading - in a performance the boss branded as a "cartoon cavalcade".
The Red Devils have conceded over 30 goals in all competitions this term, and Sir Alex has admitted that his squad will need to tighten up at the back if they are to beat title rivals Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
He told reporters: "I think we’re getting punished for every ball that goes in the box at the moment but, saying that, we should still be defending far better.
"Reading produced some fantastic balls into the box, but we do and should be expecting better. It’s a worry, it’s a concern.
"We've lost 32 goals this season I can't remember us losing so many goals before Christmas. I must say that. So it is a concern, there’s no question about that.
"When you look at the side City could put out, with [Mario] Balotelli, [Edin] Dzeko, all really tall players, it's going to be a really big challenge for us on Sunday."