ANDERS LINDEGAARD insists it will not be long before Manchester United are back at English football's top table.
United visit Sunderland in the League Cup semi-final first leg tonight knowing the competition now represents their only realistic chance of domestic silverware this season.
To reach that stage by the first week in January represents a startling fall from grace for a squad good enough to win the Premier League by 11 points last season.
Manager David Moyes has already pledged to do something about it, and speculation of a failed bid for Southampton full-back Luke Shaw provides the first example of it.
And Lindegaard, a United fan from childhood and now back-up keeper to David de Gea, is adamant the quest will be a successful one.
"Manchester United is the most successful club in English football," he said.
"That is not going to change. It is how it is. It is in the genes of the club and is going to continue.
"We are in the middle of the transition. I am sure when the transition is fulfilled we will be as successful as we have ever been."
Merely making a move for 18-year-old Shaw, with Southampton consistently stating he will not be allowed to leave this month, underlines Moyes is looking long term.
However, the two-legged tie with Sunderland has taken on "must-win" proportions.
Should the Red Devils fail to advance to a Wembley final at the expense of the side rock bottom of the table, terrace disenchantment with Moyes will start to solidify.
Yet Moyes shows no signs of flinching, despite the increased pressure and scrutiny.
And Lindegaard is insistent the club's aims are as high as ever.
"Manchester United is not going to realign if what you mean by that is start to look lower," he said.
"Look at the history of this club. That is not going to happen at Manchester United."