Whilst Phil Jones’ mistakes can be put down to inexperience and Antonio Valencia’s to being unfamiliar with the right back position, the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra have been afforded little leeway, with people singling them out for the roles they played in Basel’s comeback.
Despite the blip, stand in captain Patrice Evra is ready to draw a line under it and ensure that United get back to instilling fear into opponents, starting with Norwich as he told the club’s official website:
“When they come to Old Trafford they have to be scared and know they will not enjoy their football and they will find it hard.
“It’s a responsibility for everyone – not only the defenders and the goalkeeper, but the midfielders and the strikers as well. We have to press more like we did in the first few games and not let other teams have time to play.
“It’s been difficult [having a changing back four], but when you play for Manchester United you can’t look for excuses.
“It’s not difficult to get the balance right [of attacking and defending]. None of our games have been easy, but we made them look easy at the beginning of the season because we worked hard, we were compact and everything about our shape was right.
“I think if we just go back to that we’re going to resolve the problem. It’s not a disaster, it’s just a good warning and a wake-up call.
“We are beautiful when we make the game easy, but we can be ugly if we don’t make the effort and do what we need to do! We have to make sure on Saturday we defend like a team, stay compact and try to keep a clean sheet.”