David Moyes has been criticised by one expert for 'waving the white flag' too soon by writing his open letter to Manchester United fans.
Professor of culture at Staffordshire University Ellis Cashmore believes Moyes is effectively giving up this season with his apology for the poor performances so far.
Despite being out of contention in the Premier League and out of the FA Cup and League Cup, Cashmore believes pessimism is unhelpful while United still have a chance in the Champions League and an opportunity to grab fourth place in the league.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News Sport, he said: "I'd go as far as to say it's unprecedented.
"His letter doesn't actually say why things have been poor and to be honest I think it's premature.
"They can still win the UEFA Champions League and fourth place is not out of the question. Crazy things happen from March onwards and I don't think the manager should dismiss the possibility of huge success already.
"They could still get into the Champions League next season by becoming Champions of Europe."
And Cashmore criticised Moyes's approach by comparing him to his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson.
"Sir Alex Ferguson's approach proves that you don't give up. But Moyes is waving the white flag early.
"The Glazers wanted someone who was similar as possible to Sir Alex, and superficially Moyes was.
"But this letter just proves how very different their approaches are. Sports psychologists often deal with athletes who make excuses beforehand and that is what Moyes is doing.
"These things trickle down to the players and they're probably thinking, 'Why is the guy leading us making apologies in advance?'
"He should be saying, 'This is how we're going to fix it' instead."
Moyes penned an open letter to United season tickets holders that was printed in the Reds' quarterly magazine, 12th Man.
He admitted his surprise at the difficult challenges he's faced at Old Trafford so far, but asked the fans for their continued patience and support moving forward.
United are currently 12 points off fourth place in the battle to clinch a Champions League place for next season's competition.