Nicky Butt identifies the problem at Man United

The Man United legend believe the Red Devils are lacking confidence

Man United manager Jose Mourinho Photo: The Sport Review

Nicky Butt believes the lack of confidence in the Manchester United squad is contributing to their poor results in the Premier League.

The Red Devils have struggled to produce polished performances in the Premier League this season despite finishing in second place in Jose Mourinho’s second campaign in charge.

Manchester United lost to Brighton, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham in their opening seven Premier League games to leave the Red Devils in mid table.

However, the 20-time English champions appeared to have turned a corner in October following a return of 10 points from four Premier League games.

Manchester United came from behind to beat Newcastle United and Bournemouth, as well as securing a point against Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho’s men recovered from a 1-0 deficit in Turin last week to beat Juventus 2-1 in the Champions League group stage to underline their new-found resilience under the Portuguese head coach.

However, the Red Devils endured a chastening 90 minutes at The Etihad on Sunday evening after Manchester City were 3-1 winners against Manchester United.

Goals from David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan helped to secure three points against their derby rivals despite Anthony Martial’s penalty.

Former Manchester United midfielder Butt believes Manchester United’s low morale is contributing to their poor performances.

“I think it’s difficult when you have got players that aren’t in form,” Butt told Sky Sports.

“It doesn’t matter who you are or what team you manage, if the players are not on a high or confident they are not going to win too many games.

“At United at the minute, players are low on confidence. They came up against the probably the best team in Europe [Manchester City] and got beaten.

“They are steadily improving. The manager has recognised that and they are getting some consistency in the team.

“The injury to Pogba can kill any team. They are not getting all the luck but that City game is gone now and hopefully they can push on to Christmas and get into a position where they are challenging in the top four.”

Manchester United have a terrible defensive record in the Premier League this season after conceding 21 goals in their opening 12 fixtures.

The Red Devils are in eighth place in the English top flight and 12 points adrift of defending champions Manchester City in the title race.

Mourinho’s side will take on Crystal Palace on Saturday 24 November before fixtures against Southampton, Arsenal and Fulham.

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