Wayne Rooney believes Manchester United's players are to blame for the stuttering start to the season, moving to take the heat off new boss David Moyes.
Rooney has been the shining light of consistency in a United team that have yet to hit top form under Moyes, with the England striker suggesting his team-mates need to step up to the mark in a bid to assist Alex Ferguson's successor in the Old Trafford hot-seat.
"Obviously the manager is under a bit of pressure and we know as a team it's us who have let him down," stated Rooney, in comments appearing in several British newspapers on Monday.
"We have to pull together for the manager and show the sort of fight we have done here and we'll be fine. We need to do better for him than we have been,"
Rooney went on to heap praise on United's new teenage hero Adnan Januzaj, after his two-goal salvo at Sunderland handed Moyes a much needed Premier League win on Saturday.
"He's a great prospect," added Rooney. "He takes the ball, he runs at players and he's got great ability.
"It's great the manager has thrown him into the side, especially with what has happened in the last few games. There was big pressure on us, but the manager has trusted him and he has repaid that.
"He's very confident, that's great to see. A lot of the young players who come through are a little bit timid and shy, but he looks comfortable and he's confident in his own ability, which you need to be.
"It was a brave move to play him in the circumstances and we're delighted it's paid off. There is a lot of pressure, but he seems to thrive on it. We know the ability he has got, but you never know how they are going to react when they are thrown into games.
"We need to help the younger players and if we do that, they'll be moments where they come in and win us the game, as has happened here. The experienced lads need to help them emerge into a team."