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The World Cup winner believes that the heavy home defeat on Saturday might do the Red Devils good in the medium term...

Manchester United and England legend Sir Bobby Charlton is refusing to be downbeat after yesterday's 4-1 mauling of the champions at home by Liverpool.

Although defeat to their bitter rivals has left many at Old Trafford reeling, Charlton thinks that the effects of such a defeat may actually work in the club's favour.

"I think there was just a little bit of stress because we kept on winning matches," he told BBC Radio 5 Live's 'Sportsweek' programme.

"It helps to maybe turn the gas down a little bit, and a lot of pressure's maybe eased. I'm hoping we're going to do better because of this result. It wasn't a result anybody at Manchester United could be proud of but you have to say Liverpool played really well and deserved to win."

United hadn't lost by any comparable margin at home since Queens Park Rangers beat them 4-1 in 1992. It was also Liverpool's largest win at the so-called 'Theatre of Dreams' since 1936. Charlton, though, is not rushing into any panic over the result, and is backing manager and fellow knight, Sir Alex Ferguson, to re-galvanise the United squad and steer them to another Premier League title.

"He will make sure they get their confidence back," he added.

"It's a bit of a blow – to lose four goals at home hasn't been done for so many years. There's a bit of pride been hurt there, but I don't think he'll have to work too hard to rejuvenate them. But work he will. Getting to the end of the season, all matches are important. When the next one comes along next week I'm sure he'll be ready for it."

Charlton was part of the legendary 'Busby Babes', surviving the Munich air disaster of 1958 and going on to win the European Cup with the club a decade later. He thinks, however, that Ferguson's current line-up might actually be the Red Devils' best squad ever.

"It is a very good squad with a lot of good players," he said.

"I think if they win the Champions League you could say that is maybe the best squad that's been here."

As for a 'quintuple' of trophies, a feat only previously achieved in British football by the Celtic team who conquered Europe in 1967, Charlton felt it would be a massive achievement, concluding, "It would be absolutely sensational and if any club were ever able to do it it would be the greatest achievement any club has ever had. But we don't have any targets other than the next match."

Zack Wilson, Goal.com

 

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