Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville believes that despite plenty of effort from the players, the club is ‘stuck’ in a rut.
The Red Devils are seventh in the Premier League after 13 matches, seven points outside of the top four and 15 behind table-topping neighbours Manchester City, after a shocking start to the 2018-19 campaign.
A 1-0 win against Young Boys at Old Trafford on Tuesday night did little to lift spirits, as United once again laboured to the three points while struggling to create clear-cut chances in attack.
They produced a similarly uninspired performance during the 0-0 home draw against Crystal Palace last weekend in the league and with Southampton up next at Saint Mary’s on Saturday, club boss Jose Mourinho is running out of time to turn things around.
? to Southampton for our next #PL match.
? Saturday 1 December
? 17:30 GMT pic.twitter.com/o9KOrKb688
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 29, 2018
Neville, who was part of the famous ‘class of ’92’, has given his verdict on United’s recent form and his assessment was damning, to say the least, as he admitted the team is ‘struggling’ with the pressure to perform.
“The problem they’ve got now is it feels like they are stuck, in the sense they are getting through games, scraping through,” the ex-England defender told Sky Sports.
“The football is suffering at the moment and the atmosphere in the ground is suffering. I don’t think it’s a lack of effort or application, it’s just this moment in time their confidence, belief and maturity is not there.
“They are just crawling at the moment from game to game, you don’t get that sense they can’t wait for the next match.”
Heading into a busy winter period United are in danger of falling out of the race for a top-four finish, with fixtures against Liverpool and Arsenal to come over the next few weeks.
Mourinho’s men booked their place in the last-16 of the Champions League by beating Young boys, but if they are to emerge as genuine contenders for silverware in the second half of the season changes must be made, as Neville went on to acknowledge.
“I’ve never known lacking in confidence and belief to go away from anything other than with hard work and preparing the best you can every day and knowing the talent within the squad will come out of it,” he added.
“At the moment this is a prolonged period of sluggishness and it has to come to an end. It’s getting the players, manager and fans down. That club is about dreams, magic and at the moment it does not feel like that.”