Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he has not seen a sloppier Manchester United since he took charge than the one that lost to Newcastle on Sunday.
This could have been a major opportunity for a faltering Man Utd side to turn things around, but it was Newcastle who got the much-needed win to erase the memories of last weekend’s painful 5-0 defeat to Leicester and climb out of the relegation zone.
It was far from the most entertaining game of all-time, but that won’t have mattered one bit to Matty Longstaff – making his first ever league start in professional football alongside brother Sean in midfield for the Magpies – when he powered home from outside the box midway through the second half.
With just one point separating the two sides in the table now, the pressure is mounting on Solskjaer – who admitted that his team are lacking mental fortitude.
“We’re disappointed,” he told Sky Sports. “We did lack quite a few key players but that’s no excuse. The players worked hard and ran their socks off but at the moment we’re in a place we’re not used to.
“Some of the boys lack a little bit of composure and we don’t create enough chances to win a game of football. They stay together as a team but we don’t create.
“Luckily for us it’s now the international break. We get time to evaluate what’s gone on over these eight games. We will sit down, hopefully we’ll get a few players back.
“It’s my responsibility. I need to sort their heads out. Young boys lacking confidence – they need some help from experienced players and staff.
“They’re human and they want to do well. They need to see the results of their hard work and we’re not getting those results so that’s going to affect them.
“The first half was the sloppiest we’ve been. In the second half we dominated but we didn’t create.
“We’ve not changed a lot. We’ve played the same way and stuck to our principles. The players are working hard. We’ve had six out from the Chelsea game and that’s going to affect results. But we’ll work hard and get the quality back.”