Manchester United’s underperforming squad are trying to get Jose Mourinho sacked, claims Paul Ince, with those to have downed tools accused of throwing their manager “under the bus”.
The Red Devils, amid a backdrop of internal rifts behind the scenes, have hit an alarming slump over recent weeks, going four games without a win.
A sorry sequence of results, which was extended by a goalless draw with Valencia in midweek Champions League competition, has seen pressure piled onto beleaguered boss Mourinho.
The Portuguese has cut a frustrated figure throughout the 2018-19 campaign, with a disappointing transfer window having set the tone for inconsistent performances and reports of divides in the United camp.
Ince believes those rifts have seen a number of players give up, with the former Red Devils midfielder telling Paddy Power: “It baffles me that Manchester United players are choosing when they want to put effort into playing for their club.
“Every player in the shirt should be putting in effort and showing desire, even if you don’t get the result.
“There’s no excuse for not putting in effort. These are professional footballers, on astronomical wages, playing for one of the biggest clubs ever.
“It doesn’t sit right with me that it looks like they can’t be bothered. Yes, there might be a couple of players who are trying – but you need the whole team to be contributing.
“It looks to me as though they’re not interested in playing for Jose Mourinho anymore.”
Ince added on the uncomfortable situation Mourinho now faces as his job continues to be called into question: “When I played for the club, I saw it as an honour and although I didn’t always play well, no one could ever accuse me of not putting the work in.
“What I find disappointing is those players are happy for Mourinho to take the blame. They should be admitting the fact that they are responsible for the way they’re playing.
“They’re throwing him under the bus, despite putting in poor performances every week. And they’re getting away with it. Some players want Man United to get beat, just so that there’s pressure on Mourinho to be sacked.
“The amount of times that you see a new manager go to a club and suddenly, the whole team are up for it. You have to question the attitude of the players.”
United and Mourinho will get the chance to right a few wrongs when they welcome Newcastle to Old Trafford on Saturday, with a morale-boosting victory required to send them and a frustrated fan base into the international break feeling a little more optimistic.