Manchester United need to get their “old habits” back if they are to take control in the hunt for a top-four Premier League place, according to one pundit.
The Red Devils have suffered a topsy-turvy season and Champions League qualification for next season is consequently their main aim. They still have a solid chance of progressing in Europe but are not one of the favourites for glory.
What’s more, Man Utd are costing their own chances of finishing in the top four. Rio Ferdinand had boosted the mood before this weekend’s matches by revealing that only Manchester City – at that point – had gained more Premier League points since interim manager Ralf Rangnick took charge at Old Trafford.
However, Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Watford exposed United’s recent problems of late. Like in 1-1 draws against Burnley and Southampton, they failed to kill the game off despite dominating.
But the latest stalemate was the most frustrating yet for the Old Trafford faithful. Man Utd had 22 shots on the Watford goal but only three on target.
Speaking to MUTV, former United man Danny Webber criticised the latest performance.
“We do have to win the game and, as you say, we’ve dropped two valuable points,” Webber said.
“We did it against Burnley and against Southampton. That’s six points now when we’re fighting so hard for fourth place, it’s not okay.
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“You can’t just get up for the big games and then these games, when they’re deemed as lesser clubs in a lesser position, not be up for that as well.”
The frustrations at United come amid Liverpool and Manchester City pulling away at the top of the Premier League. The Reds have scored two or more goals in all but one of their past nine matches in all competition.
Meanwhile, City have scored two or more in all of their last seven.
Webber added: “We don’t like to say it, but the likes of City and Liverpool are putting people to the sword at the moment and they were our old habits.
“We’re not in those habits anymore and we need to quickly create those habits. Whoever we’re up against, you’ve got to puff out your chest and go and deliver.”
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Ronaldo was alongside Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Elanga in having numerous chances against Watford.
The Portuguese has scored only two goals in his last 11 matches in all competitions.
Webber said of the 37-year-old’s form: “Sometimes it goes like that as a forward, you have those periods. He’s barely had any throughout his whole career, but it happens.
“There’s strikers for years at every club who’ll go through a drought, but your team-mates need to get you through it.
“And that’s when other people need to score goals. We need to score from set-pieces, from wide, from midfield so that you’re helping out your team-mate.
“He’s out there at the moment feeling the pressure at the moment because he takes that pressure on his shoulders.
“He’s frustrated every time it doesn’t go in, you can see his body language.”
United return to action next weekend when facing City in a crunch Premier League derby.