Phil Jones admits Manchester United are struggling this season under Louis van Gaal, but insists their time under David Moyes was far worse.
England defender Jones has called on Manchester United’s under-performing stars to pull together to ease the heat on Van Gaal, but even the loyalists have now turned against the Dutchman. Brendan Rodgers to Old Trafford, anyone?
Van Gaal has come under increasing pressure and faced the wrath of discontented fans amid a dismal run of results and some insipid performances at Old Trafford.
United’s 2-1 loss to Norwich in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday was their third successive defeat in a sequence which also saw them eliminated from the Champions League. And Van Gaal has now lost 16 of the 71 games he has taken charge of, with a 50% win percentage.
However, Jones claims the mood at the club was worse during David Moyes’ ill-fated season in charge two years ago, who left United with a 52% win percentage, having seen the club reach the last eight of the Champions League.
The defender said: “I wouldn’t say it’s the lowest moment. I think it became pretty glum, if you like, under David Moyes and it was unfortunate. We weren’t playing well at the time.
“There’s no point saying we’ve played some good football this season because ultimately we’ve lost three games in a row – but we have in patches. We need to stick together, there’s nothing else you can do.”
United, who have not won in six games in all competitions, have slipped to fifth in the Barclays Premier League and Jose Mourinho, who left Chelsea last week, has been linked with Van Gaal’s job.
But Jones insists the players are backing the Dutchman to turn the situation around and are also determined to pull their own weight.
The 23-year-old said: “The manager is doing all he can and is doing a terrific job. It’s not even questionable in the dressing room. The lads are absolutely fully focused on performing well for the manager, the fans, ourselves week-in, week-out.
“The players in there aren’t hiding behind anyone. We know full well we have to take responsibility.
“There’s no other way. The manager picks the team and the team has got to go out and do its best.
“We might be playing well, or playing well in patches, or not scoring or whatever it may be, but we need to stick together and us as players need to take responsibility for that. There’s no two ways about that.
“We just have to keep plugging away, keep creating chances and hopefully we’ll hit someone four or five nil, but we just have to get back to the drawing board again and pick ourselves up.”
United were booed off after the Canaries loss, but Jones hopes the fans get behind the team as they bid to recover form and confidence.
He said: “We need them more than ever now. We have got to pull through and we will.”