The Corkman was devastated after Wednesday night’s Europa League final defeat.
Denis Irwin believes there is plenty to be optimistic about after Man United’s season, despite another campaign without silverware.
Irwin was a guest on MUTV for United’s Europa League final in Gdansk and the Irishman expressed sympathy for David de Gea, whose missed penalty in the shootout against Villarreal condemned the Red Devils to defeat.
Irwin expects a number of United’s players to struggle to come to terms with the defeat, just because of how close they came to a trophy, although the club legend believes there has been progression this term that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can build on ahead of next season.
“It takes you a while to get over it,” Irwin said of the penalty shootout heartbreak.
Denis Irwin on Man United
“The next thing a lot of lads will join up with international teams. When you join up with other players, you probably get a bit of a ribbing, that’s part and parcel of being a footballer. They’ll probably forget about it playing for their countries but they’ll come back for pre-season.
“They’ve got to get that behind them as soon as possible. I’m sure Ole will get the lads together for the first game of pre-season and say ‘great last season, we’ve got to challenge this year, iron up the inconsistencies, and go again.’
“This year, there’s been progression. Third last year, just about on the last day, this year second place and cemented it a lot earlier too. Got to a final and had a great opportunity of winning, unfortunately we haven’t taken advantage of that. You’ve got to go again next year, be closer in the Premier League and be ready from the off.
“We got off to a really indifferent start this season, whether that’s down to Europa League exploits in Germany last year, but we were very inconsistent early on. We’ve got to iron all them out and go from the very start.”