Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has said the players let down manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in their “embarrassing” 5-0 loss to Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday and need to take full responsibility and stick together.
United visit Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday after a week of intense criticism and speculation over the future of Solskjaer at the club.
“I hope every player in the dressing room is looking at themselves, taking full responsibility on their shoulders and not pointing the finger and blaming anyone else,” Maguire told Sky Sports.
“You look at yourself first and foremost when you have a result like this and a period like this.
“We let the manager down against Liverpool. We let the fans down, the club down, us as players. So we have to take huge responsibility for that.”
Maguire said it had been difficult to process the defeat, which saw United 4-0 down at halftime.
“It’s been tough, it’s been disappointing. When you look back at the result and the performance it was embarrassing. Nowhere near good enough for this club,” he added.
“It’s been a tough week. I’m not going to say we’ve moved on easily.
“It’s one of the lowest I’m sure all the players have felt in their career. You go home and you don’t sleep much, you’ve got thoughts running through your head. ‘If only I did this or this’.
“If I’m being honest I went home and I just looked at myself and what I can do better and take full responsibility on my shoulders,” he said.
United’s leaky defence has been under particular scrutiny after conceding nine goals in their last two Premier League games and keeping one clean sheet in their last 21 matches in all competitions.
“We’ve conceded far too many goals. I take a big responsibility for that. I take responsibility for my own performance but also the defensive performance as well,” said 28-year-old Maguire.
“I’m the captain, I’ve been a mainstay in the defence for over two years. We’ve had some good runs but at the minute we’re not defending well enough.
“My performances haven’t been good enough and I’m looking to get back to the form I’ve shown prior to the injury in the last two seasons.”
The England defender said it was time for the club’s senior players to show their value.
“We’ve now got to stick together as a group, try to move forward from the (Liverpool) result and put on a positive performance on Saturday,” said Maguire.
“We’ve got big players at this club, big experience, big international players and now we’ve got to show that.”
Speaking afterwards Solskjaer insisted he would keep fighting.
He said: “I’ve been through some very bad moments here as a player and when I’ve been a coach and a manager as well.
“I’ve had to deal with setbacks, there’s probably been two or three crises at least since I became the manager here. One thing I can say is that I’ll always give it a good shot and fight back.”