'I don't think it would have been acceptable' - Gary Neville's stark verdict on Manchester United's slump
Gary Neville has admitted it has become a real struggle to watch Manchester United under the guidance of Jose Mourinho, as he admits the club's supporters are struggling to keep faith with their struggling team.
Last Saturday's 0-0 home draw against Crystal Palace ensured United have endured their worst start to the season in 28 years, with Mourinho questioning the attitude of his players once again in his post match press conference.
"There are games that are special games and not just 'one more'," he said. "This was a special game, the first of eight Premier League games until the end of December, a game we need to win and it was not enough from the heart. You must play with brain and also with heart and I think not enough heart."
United legend Neville has now offered his verdict on United's ongoing struggles as he told Sky Sports that his former club are failing to find solutions to problems that have ensured throughout this season with Mourinho again struggling to find the answers as his side slipped 14 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
"I didn't go to Old Trafford but I spoke to people who did. There's a lethargy, in terms of the fans going into the ground, watching the game, players on the pitch," stated Neville.
"I think Jose gave the right message before the game saying they will end up in the top four. I don't think it would have been acceptable at the start of the season, and certainly the start of last season, to say the top four is achievable, because he will have wanted to challenge for the title with the money that has been spent. That's where United need to be.
"But they're not near that level at this moment in time, and it typifies really what they are at the moment, which is inconsistent. You can see them go away to Chelsea and nearly win, go away to Watford and Young Boys, and sometimes you can watch them at home against Wolves or Crystal Palace or Valencia, and they're nowhere near.
"They're inconsistent, not just in games, but from half to half within games. It's not right obviously at this moment in time, the players are not performing anywhere near their level.
"You'd argue Jose at this moment in time will be scratching his head about which players to put out on the pitch.
"But he's made changes before and it hasn't really made any difference so it's just about battling and fighting away at it, because it is a struggle. I think that's the word to describe it."
United will look to rebuild some confidence when they take on Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday night.