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Parker: United players 'lost'


TASK: Bruno Fernandes. Photo: Martin Meissner/Pool via REUTERS

TASK: Bruno Fernandes. Photo: Martin Meissner/Pool via REUTERS

TASK: Bruno Fernandes. Photo: Martin Meissner/Pool via REUTERS

Manchester United's players need to front up with some home truths in the dressing room to help get their campaign back on track, according to former defender Paul Parker.

United were humiliated in a 6-1 defeat to Tottenham at Old Trafford ahead of the international break, and had opened the new Premier League season with an unexpected 3-1 home loss to Crystal Palace.

Former United captain Roy Keane believes United's under-performing squad contains "too many bluffers" who will ultimately see manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, his ex-team-mate, sacked. Parker joined United from QPR in the summer of 1991 and went on to win two Premier League titles as well as the 1994 FA Cup alongside the likes of Keane, Steve Bruce and Eric Cantona.

The 56-year-old ex-England international feels the current group lack the "identities" needed to call each other out when times get tough.

"You look at those results and the players have lost their way now, you can see it," Parker said.

"You cannot forgive them for that, because you are looking for them to add that little bit of self-motivation and pride.

"That bit of pride to say: 'we are not going to go on and concede that many'.

"There should have been a lot more fight - football has changed, there was a lot more self-motivated players in my time than there is now. United are missing players with identities, who have come into the club from places where they have had to dig deep and they have come in looking to achieve and win things.

"When you look at someone like Bruno Fernandes, he wants to prove a point - he has come from a massive club, a very famous club in Portugal, and has come to United looking to prove himself again, and you cannot knock that.

"But maybe some of the players they are getting in, a few of them are content, happy to be there, and think that it is an easy ride.

"That is the big difference - when I joined United a few players were keeping an eye on me to see what I was going to do. Was I just content to be there or did I want to join them and help them, to make their life easier in winning trophies?"