Michael Carrick claims it is “disrespectful” to say Manchester United’s players are not giving their all for Louis van Gaal.
Van Gaal is under increasing pressure after United crashed out of the Champions League and dropped to sixth in the Barclays Premier League.
United’s latest defeat to Stoke on Boxing Day stretched their winless run to seven matches, but Carrick insists it would be wrong to think that shows the players are not fighting for the manager.
“I have a lot of pride in myself and in my performances and I think it is a bit disrespectful when people say that the lads aren’t trying for the manager,” the United vice-captain said.
“That hurts us a lot because that is not the type of people we are.
“We haven’t won games and it is fair enough if people criticise things that have gone wrong on the pitch.
“But to I think to say we are not trying for certain people is quite disrespectful and it hurts us a lot.
“We’re playing for this great club. It is a special club. It is pride in yourself, pride in the club and pride in everyone – your team-mates and staff.”
Carrick admitted the players’ pride had been dented by United’s longest run without a win since the 1989-90 season, and called on his team-mates to respond by beating Chelsea at Old Trafford on Monday.
“It is a horrible run, and it is a horrible feeling. It hurts badly,” said the midfielder, who captained the side at Stoke as Wayne Rooney was dropped to the bench.
“The run we’ve been on is just not good enough. We can’t hide from it, we’re not going to hide from it. That is how it is and we all need to be better.
“We’ve just got to try and turn it round on Monday. It is the only way. Thankfully there is one (game) coming quickly, so we have to get ready for that.”