Scott McTominay believes that the issues running throughout the fabric of Manchester United are not an excuse for the team’s lack of effort.
The Red Devils have suffered a below-par season following on from their second-placed Premier League finish last term. They have subsequently been scrapping for the top four – but are now all-but out of the race.
Indeed, Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Arsenal was a second in a row and a fourth in seven games. United now sit sixth and will drop to seventh if West Ham beat Chelsea on Sunday.
Man United’s recent state of limbo over their manager situation has not helped. Ralf Rangnick is in interim charge and so has limited influence before he moves into an Old Trafford consultancy role.
On Thursday, United announced Erik ten Hag as their new manager from next season. However, he has a big job on his hands to get the club back to their previous heights.
And McTominay has insisted that the players need to “go home and take a look at ourselves in the mirror”.
“Goals change games of football, We didn’t put the ball in the back of the net and they did,” the Scotland international told bt sport.
“We dominated the first 20/25 minutes of the second half and they go down the other side of the pitch and score. That’s how it’s going at the minute. There are a whole lot of problems in terms of players, staff, everything higher up.
“We need to concentrate on what’s happening on the pitch. It’s self-pride when we’re on the pitch. We don’t need to worry about who’s saying what.
“It’s pride when you go on the pitch and nothing else. Give your best, everyone.”
Arsenal took the lead through Nuno Tavares and made it 2-0 through Bukayo Saka’s penalty – after Eddie Nketiah had a goal ruled out for offside.
Nevertheless, Cristiano Ronaldo made it 2-1 and United could have taken the lead from there. But, Bruno Fernandes missed a penalty and Diogo Dalot had a shot saved onto the post. Granit Xhaka’s long-range strike then made it 3-1.
There was controversy, though, with Arsenal surviving two handball appeals from United. According to McTominaythough, “you can’t be satisfied at conceding three goals away at Arsenal when we deserved to win the game”.
“For us, self-belief, lack of confidence, you can see it all in the last two months, which has been coming,” he added. “We had a half-decent game today, but even then, it’s the belief, which is so big in football, it’s just not here at the minute.”
McTominay makes Ten Hag signings claim
Rangnick admitted that the a top-four finish has become highly unlikely for United and McTominay agreed. He urged his side to play for “pride”, “show a bit of balls” and “not shy away from the ball”.
He continued that sentiment when discussing the signings Ten Hag could make in the summer.
“When the new coach comes in, we have to be ready for everything,” McTominay said.
“We need to be so dialed in and concentrated on our jobs so that we impress him and we can build from there.
“It’s looking at next season in terms of how we can improve and what we can do and the players that we do bring in – how much can they add to the group?
“For myself, it’s a bit of balls in your performances, man. That’s what it comes down to, the fundamentals of football.”
United face Chelsea at Old Trafford in their next game on Thursday.