Former Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has claimed that manager Jose Mourinho is being made a scapegoat for the team's poor form so far this season.
United have lost three of their opening eight games of the Premier League season to already fall seven points adrift of the leading pack, which consists of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool.
Mourinho's future has come under intense scrutiny as a result, but Rooney believes that the players need to shoulder some of the blame.
"The manager can do so much but then it is down to the players on the pitch to produce. Probably collectively it is a bit of everything coming together, but Jose is an easy target," Rooney is quoted as saying by The Mirror.
"I know Jose is getting a load of stick but the players have to stand up. They have to be counted and they have to be better. I said the same thing when Louis van Gaal was there. He took a lot of stick but behind closed doors I said to the players we have be doing better.
"Personally I think he set us up brilliantly, but we didn't produce on the pitch. So I am sure that is getting said behind the scenes now. It's a young team, and it's a different pressure. Quite a lot of those players maybe haven't faced this before and they haven't got the senior players, which I had there as a young player, to help in those difficult moments. There are not enough of them to help you through it."
Rooney - who left United last year as the club's all-time record goalscorer - currently plays for DC United in the MLS. body check tags ::