Jonny Evans believes the onus is on Manchester United’s players, rather than manager David Moyes, to address the club’s faltering form and bring about an improvement in their fortunes.
United were Premier League champions last season but are only eighth in the division this season and have won just one of their four games. And Northern Ireland international Evans accepts they have been below par so far and believes it is up to the players to take responsibility.
He said: "Us as players know we haven’t played well enough, both as individuals and as a team. We have to look at ourselves and raise our performances."
Evans accepted United fell short of the standards they want to set in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton. He added: "We are disappointed, we have watched parts of the game back and our performance level wasn’t up to scratch.
"Especially in possession we are giving the ball away quite sloppily. We want to control games. We allowed Southampton to control the game a bit better than we did."
Evans said that he is determined to prove he can be the leader at the back for United. The 25-year-old partnered Phil Jones in the middle of the defence against Southampton and, if veterans Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic are not fit enough to face Real Sociedad on Wednesday, could be the senior centre-back again.
He said: "I think there’s been times in the last couple of years where that has happened. All the centre-backs have had injury problems. There have been periods where I have had to step in to that role. As a player you want to play as many games as you can and as a centre back you want to be a leader."