Silvestre: Consistency is key
By Phil Jackson. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Mikael Silvestre believes Manchester United have the squad to capitalise on their perfect start to the season so far.
The French defender scored the first as United beat Watford 2-1 at Vicarage Road to make it three wins out of three for the early Premiership leaders.
Sir Alex Ferguson's side opened up in the same fashion last term, though, before draws with Manchester City and Liverpool and a home defeat to Blackburn Rovers saw them slip down the standings.
But, while The Red Devils' only major signing remains £14 million Michael Carrick thus far, the return of Paul Scholes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Gabriel Heinze after their long-term injuries means there is a real sense of belief amongst the Old Trafford squad.
"We cannot afford to do what we did last year," admitted Silvestre. "But if you look at it, we have more players this term.
"In defence alone we have Gary Neville, Gabriel Heinze and Nemanja Vidic to come back into the side which is going to generate major competition for places.
"And the more players you have, the better everyone else has to play, so the performance levels should be high as well."
With Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal to come in the top flight either side of their UEFA Champions League clash with Celtic in Group F, Ferguson will be anxious to avoid casualties from the first international break of the campaign.
The fiery Scot has been already been boosted by the news that Rio Ferdinand has escaped with a bruised toe after the weekend's second consecutive away win, and is now fit to represent England in the Euro 2008 qualifiers.
And the Reds will also be hoping to strengthen the squad still further ahead of Thursday's transfer deadline, with Owen Hargreaves looking the most likely new arrival.