After winning six of their opening seven Premier League matches, Manchester United suddenly find themselves five points adrift of Manchester City at the top of the table.
Jose Mourinho’s side have stuttered in recent weeks, drawing against Liverpool before losing to Huddersfield on Saturday.
The 2-1 defeat at John Smith’s Stadium prompted Mourinho to launch a scathing assessment of his players, the Portuguese admitted that Huddersfield deserved the win.
"They beat us on attitude," Mourinho said, per Sky Sports.
"I don't even remember a friendly match where our attitude was so poor. I feel really disappointed and if I was a Manchester United supporter, not a manager, I would be really disappointed."
"We deserved to lose. The team that wanted it more, wanted to work more, compete more and be more aggressive, they won.”
How Mourinho reacted in the dressing room
The task doesn’t get any easier for the Red Devils. They host a Tottenham side on Saturday in high spirits following their 4-1 win over Liverpool at the weekend.
So, how does Mourinho go about making sure the errors against Huddersfield don’t rear their ugly head in future games?
He starts by ripping into his players.
According to the Daily Mail, the 54-year-old gave his players the hairdryer treatment in the dressing room at full-time.
Mourinho flung his coat to the floor in rage before showing a side that his players haven’t seen since his arrival in May 2016.
Mourinho criticised his players - but not Lindelof
The former Chelsea boss took aim at his defenders, who were responsible for conceding first-half goals to Aaron Mooy and Laurent Depoitre, although he chose not to criticise Victor Lindelof.
The summer signing from Benfica was at fault for Depoitre’s goal, inexplicably ducking underneath Jonas Lossl’s long kick before watching the Belgian forward score.
Yet Lindelof was spared Mourinho’s wrath, the manager instead taking aim at more senior members of his squad.
Mourinho probably doesn’t want to knock the 23-year-old’s confidence - which couldn’t be much lower - and could instead demand the centre-back prove himself in training before playing him again.
Former United winger Ryan Giggs wants Lindelof’s critics to lay off the Swede.
“One player who has attracted a lot of criticism is Victor Lindelof but he certainly shouldn't be written off yet,” Giggs wrote in his Sky Sports column.
“Some players come to the Premier League and bed in straight away and others can take six months or even a year, as it was for Patrice Evra, Jaap Stam and Nemanja Vidic, and they went on to be unbelievable players.”
Mourinho will be acutely aware that his problems extend to much more than just his £30 million centre-back not performing.
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