Manchester United's young stars have been accused of being 'deluded' by their manager Warren Joyce after slumping to a 2-0 defeat to Southampton on Monday night.
The up and coming stars are taking the same steps that Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham have taken in the past while they have also seen their former team-mates Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard make the step up in recent years.
But Joyce appeared to suggest that none of the current crop are currently on their way to Jose Mourinho's senior squad, especially after putting in a toothless performance at St Mary's Stadium.
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He told MUTV: "I certainly thought we didn't look like we had a method to our play, with and without the ball.
"We looked like a group of individuals just thrown together, but that can be too easy, because you can still have a desire and still have a passion to play for Manchester United."
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"It's not the first time that I've actually said to this group straight after the game 'You're actually embarrassed - the way we've played,' it's probably the third time in the pre-season games.
"So it's a situation where it's not an automatic thing at this place that players just go on and be successful, as they have been in the last few years, where if they're not good enough to play for Manchester United they drift into leagues and have successful careers.
"This group are almost deluded really, as to where they're at.
"And there is certainly a lot of hard work to be put in during the coming season to keep our head above water, really."
Joyce has enjoyed his role as Under-21 coach since 2010 and has overseen the development of Lingard and Rashford. He has seen enough to know that some of the current squad members are not going to make it unless they sort their attitudes out.
"There's one or two who have been in and around the group, while not necessarily in the team, for a while now, and they've got to look at the players that have gone in the past and what they've had and what they've given and what they've done, and how much desire and drive they have to play for the club and try to play for the first-team.
"There's no shame in not quite being good enough to play for Manchester United but you can't be deluded and think you're further along than you are as well. We were second best by a long way."
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Andreas Pereira and Will Keane were all expected to play in Monday's game but all were given the night off to try and resolve their futures. All three are expected to leave on either a permanent or temporary basis before the transfer window closes after being told by Mourinho that they are surplus to requirement.
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