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Roy Keane has admitted Manchester United are in danger of losing the fear factor.
After a decade of challenging for the Premiership title right to the latter stages, the Old Trafford club surrendered their crown to Arsenal with over a month of last season's campaign remaining and have so far collected just five points from their opening four games this term.
A massive injury list, plus the on-going suspension of Rio Ferdinand are legitimate reasons for their current problems but, with Arsenal and Chelsea both riding high at the top boasting 100% records, anything other than victory at third-placed Bolton on Saturday would see United's chances being virtually written off.
In seasons gone by, Sir Alex Ferguson and his side have responded to challenges like that with relish. But as Keane points out, times have begun to change.