Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho refused to question the desire of his team after their scoreless draw with Valencia in the Champions League, though he did admit they lack “special qualities”.
The stalemate at Old Trafford was United’s fourth game without a win since they opened their Champions League campaign with a straightforward victory over Young Boys in Switzerland a fortnight ago.
They’ve drawn at home to Wolves in the league and been knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Championship outfit Derby in front of their own fans, while the Red Devils were defeated by West Ham in London on Saturday.
The pressure is growing on Mourinho, who was forced to answer questions about Zinedine Zidane succeeding him ahead of the Valencia game.
The United boss feels the desire to win is being overwhelmed by a fear of failure.
Boos rang around Old Trafford at the final whistle and Mourinho admitted his players are struggling to find a spark.
“It’s normal after a couple of bad result that confidence levels go down,” he said.
“In the first half there was a mixture of desire to win, fear to lose. In the second half there was more [desire] and the team tried even more.
“But the effort was something that I demand and when you don’t have special qualities you cannot ask for special things but commitment, effort, you can demand and the players, they answered well.”
Man United are 1.44 to get back to winning ways on Saturday when Newcastle visit Old Trafford. The Magpies are 7.00 while the draw is 4.33.