Marcus Rashford: Let's start playing like Manchester United
Red Devils striker urges teammates to be real with one another
Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford questioned their work rate and mentality as he offered a brutally honest appraisal of his side's slump in form, after their 2-0 derby defeat by Manchester City at Old Trafford yesterday morning (Singapore time).
United's surge after manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over from the sacked Jose Mourinho in December seems like a distant memory.
The Red Devils have lost seven of their last nine matches in all competitions, including the last three without scoring.
"Today, we didn't play like Manchester United. It's not right. The bare minimum is to work hard and give all for the badge, the supporters, the club and yourself," Rashford said.
"It has been a tough road to get to where we are, to get there and not be putting up the same performances as we were in January is disappointing.
"We know what's been going wrong, it's mentality and willingness to run for your team. Forget the league and top four, you don't lose this game.
"It's that simple as a Manchester United fan. We (the players) never call each other out but we have to be real with each other."
Defeat left United in sixth spot, three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, whom they face on Sunday.
"Forget the top four and the Champions League. We have to get to the bottom of it and start playing like Manchester United for ourselves," Rashford added.
Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane, analysing the game for Sky Sports, said United lacked leaders on the pitch.
"They are really low on confidence and were up against a really good team tonight," he said.
"There is a long way back for them. We spoke about leaders and characters, I just don't think they have enough of them.
"When I played, the United team were full of leaders. They have talented players but who is going to lead them through this tough period? There is no quick fix."
Solskjaer won 10 of his first 11 games in charge, but has garnered only two victories in seven matches since being made permanent manager on March 28.
"The honeymoon period is definitely over," Keane said.
"It's probably a bigger job than what he thought. The club have to back Ole now and let him this summer bring in the players he wants to turn these problems around."
GULF IN QUALITY
Solskjaer made no attempt to disguise the gulf in quality between his team and City, describing Pep Guardiola's side as "the best team in the country" after yesterday's defeat.
"They have set the standard in the last two seasons and I don't know how many points they've taken.
"What Pep Guardiola has done with his players is remarkable and we are so close to it, in the vicinity, so we feel it every day," said the Norwegian.
Sunday's match against Chelsea will be key to their top-four ambitions.
Solskjaer added: "Of course, we want to get into the top four. I haven't been planning on playing on Thursday nights (in the Europa League) yet. We just have to make sure we give ourselves a chance on Sunday." - REUTERS
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