Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick says the reigning Premier League champions were never worried by their "shocking" start to the season.
The Red Devils suffered league defeats against West Brom, Liverpool and Manchester City at the start of the campaign as they began the defense of their title in inconsistent form.
However, David Moyes’ men have improved in recent weeks and, after beating league leaders Arsenal on Sunday, now lie in fifth place just five points from top spot.
"After a shocking start we are not in a bad position. We never really got too despondent," he told reporters. "We were frustrated with our performances and results. But you have to stay patient and trust yourself. We knew there was a long way to go. There still is a long way to go."
Despite that long road ahead, Carrick said they've come into Arsenal's rear-view mirror faster than expected.
"In some ways we probably didn't think a few weeks ago we would be in this position quite as quickly. At the same time, we are not in bad shape at the moment. It is so early anyway," he said. "It is easy to jump on the bandwagon when we have lost a game or two and people are saying it is all wrong. We knew that wasn't the case."
The veteran said his team is used to hearing whispers or full-on shouts when there's a slight fall in form.
"You can take it as a compliment in some ways because of what we have done over the years," Carrick said. "When we are not at the top, because of our recent run in the league, people are asking questions and criticizing.
"In some ways it is fair. In some ways we take it with a pinch of salt. We look at how we deal with it from within."
United travels to Cardiff City for its next Premier League fixture after the international break.