David Moyes accepts that some criticism of Manchester United from Old Trafford legends Roy Keane and Peter Schmeichel is accurate, but dismissed talk of his players lacking desire.
The Premier League champions have had a stuttering start to their title defence after Moyes succeeded the retiring Sir Alex Ferguson, which has brought criticism from all corners.
Keane unleashed a scathing attack at half time of the Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk, claiming the Red Devils just weren't good enough and players such as Ashley Young are up to the standards he would expect at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, Schmeichel claimed there were too many under-performing players at Manchester United and urged Moyes to stamp his authority on the squad by axing those players that had not produced.
Moyes, perhaps surprisingly, concurred with some of the criticisms from Keane and Schmeichel, but denied everything the two former Old Trafford stars was accurate.
"Some of what they're saying is correct," Moyes told reporters.
"There's some of it that's not correct because it's certainly not the [players'] attitude or effort, because they're really trying.
"I can only tell you [that] every time we've played a game we haven't won, the players have been distraught by it and there's been a real toughness in them to try to put it right."
Moyes was speaking ahead of Manchester United's trip to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday, where he will be desperate for all three points.
The champions are currently ninth in the table and will be hoping they can close the gap on leaders Arsenal to ten points.