Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn't expect to see Manchester United really hit their stride for another four or five games as his squad try to build up their match fitness.
United were beaten by Crystal Palace in their first Premier League game of the new season and with some of the squad having only had a week of pre-season training they looked understandably short of match sharpness against the Eagles.
Solskjaer's side could fit in only one pre-season friendly before the campaign began and it means they're now playing catch-up in competitive games, with Luton Town next up tomorrow night in the Carabao Cup.
The United boss is aware his players need more minutes in their legs and he's warned that it could take a few more games yet but they're back to the kind of form they showed when last season resumed post-lockdown.
"We need four or five games to get up to the standard we know we’re capable of," he said. "We haven’t had an opportunity to get those games in and we have to make sure, in these games, we get the minutes and make the players ready to start competing in the league again.
"Brighton away is going to be a very tough one so we’ll use this one [at Luton], we want to get through, but it’s also minutes for a few."
Solskjaer expects to make changes for the trip to Kenilworth Road to face a Luton side who have won all four competitive games they've played so far this season.
But he has to balance the desire to rotate with the need to get his regulars up to speed.
"We’ll make some changes, of course we will. For some, it’s the pre-season and, for some, they’ve only been here for a week now, for different reasons," he said.
"Some of them need game-time, they do and we can see we’re lacking in sharpness. We just need to make he most of the training sessions and games we have.
"[We've] no fresh injuries after that game [against Palace] but, as I said, we’ll rotate and give some minutes. Some, after the game, will do some harder training this week to get ready for Brighton. Some will join the squad and go down there."