Ray Wilkins: Manchester United players need to step it up

by Marwan Harraz

Former Manchester United player Ray Wilkins has called on the club’s players to rise to the occasion after their recent draw with Burnley.

The Red Devils drew 2-2 with the Clarets after a shocking first half performance saw them head into the break having conceded twice with no reply.

Jose Mourinho switched up his tactics and brought on Jesse Lingard and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to help his players level the game.

Although the struggling Armenian failed to make a direct impact on the match, Lingard scored a brace to rescue the club from complete embarrassment.

Wilkins believes some of the players aren’t taking the club’s history and status as seriously as they could and believes they don’t lack the quality necessary to do better.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Ray said: “It’s about time some of the players started stepping up a touch. It’s a very special place to play football and some of them aren’t reaching the heights he [Mourinho] expects them to be at.

“How wisely has that money been spent? I would say very wisely. Romelu Lukaku is a goal machine in the Premier League, Paul Pogba is one of the best midfielders on the planet when he is at his peak.

“Nemanja Matic is one of the best holding midfielders and David De Gea is the best goalkeeper in the world. They’ve got the quality within that group. It’s about time some of those players started performing.”

The disappointing draw with Burnley leaves Manchester United with just a single point lead ahead of third placed Chelsea.

Although the Red Devils have performed fairly well this season, they are at risk of seeing it all unravel with the rest of the top six breathing down their neck.

Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham are all keen on fighting for the same four Champions League spot and United will want to avoid any of the commotion going on below them.

Teams often make or break their seasons during the tricky winter period and Mourinho and his men have to be careful to navigate through them safely.

Ray Wilkins hasn’t been the first person to suggest that the player’s problems are mental more than a lack of quality.

Players at Old Trafford have often been criticised for their attitude problems since Sir Alex Ferguson retired and Jose will be hoping to rectify it.

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