Manchester United players 'don't want the ball', claims Ray Wilkins

Some of the players lack fight, claims the former United player

Ray Wilkins has added his voice to those who believe the present Manchester United squad lack the fight to drag the club out of their present problems.

United head into Tuesday's Champions League encounter with Shakhtar Donetsk at Old Trafford still requiring a point to ensure top spot in Group A to gain a favourable knock-out round draw.

Yet victory is needed to raise flagging morale after back-to-back home defeats in the Premier League for the first time since 2002 enveloped an air of gloom around the Red Devils.

A lack of fight has been identified by those around the United dressing room, an issue that is exacerbated by Sir Alex Ferguson no longer being present to galvanise the players.

It still comes as a shock, especially following all the success the club have had down the years.

But, for Wilkins, the evidence in Saturday's 1-0 home defeat by Newcastle was overwhelming.

"For the first time on Saturday, I saw Manchester United players not actually wanting the ball, which is unheard of at Old Trafford," Wilkins told talkSPORT

"You have to be a certain type of player to play for Manchester United - someone that wants the ball all the time and fights his guts out.

"I didn't quite see that on Saturday."

It leaves Moyes in an awkward spot, with some supporters beginning to question whether Ferguson's choice as successor was indeed the right man for the job.

Yet Wilkins believes the downturn in fortunes may work to the Scot's advantage, even though he believes the recovery process will be extensive.

"It is a great club, it always will be a great club, but David needs time and assistance," said Wilkins.

"Disgruntled fans aren't really going to help.

"It might be the little kick up the backside they need to say, 'here you are David, there is the finance, now go and get some younger players in'.

"Unfortunately, David needs five or six players.

"It's going to take two or three windows to put right what has gone slightly wrong at Manchester United."

Related articles...

United will not be forced into panic buys, says Moyes

Sam Wallace: Moyes paying price for transfer abstinence

Moyes needs immediate lift to take the crisis out of change

United players 'don't want the ball', claims Wilkins

Ferguson still trying to exert 'control and power' at United, claims Keane

United face personnel problem in Champions League

Champions haven't got a clue

Moyes claims fans understand 'the bigger picture'

PA

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