Manchester United are suffering from a crisis of confidence at present, claims Jonny Evans, although the defender admits it is difficult to place a finger upon just why this has happened.
The Premier League champions are 13 points adrift of leaders Arsenal are 15 matches completed while, perhaps more worryingly, they are seven points outside of the Champions League positions.
Saturday saw Manchester United fall to a lacklustre defeat to Newcastle at Old Trafford, which represented their third loss at home so far this term and their second in less than a week. They also failed to score against either Everton or Newcastle.
This form will be a concern indeed for David Moyes, whose team are playing without their renowned verve, and Evans concedes that confidence is somewhat low among the players.
"The lads have lost a bit of confidence," Evans told PA Sport.
"You can tell that with the possession and creativity. Players maybe are not playing how they naturally would. That happens when your confidence drops."
Manchester United teams of old would have, perhaps, made more of a fist of breaking Newcastle down after the visitors had taken the lead at the weekend, but Evans admits there is something lacking when they are in search of a goal.
"Usually whenever we're chasing a goal at Old Trafford, especially at the Stretford End, we put teams under an enormous amount of pressure," he added.
"But with the lack of confidence and creativity we didn't produce that. It is hard to put your finger on it. We lacked a bit of sharpness in our passing and were sloppy in possession which allowed Newcastle to get control."