We, the players, have to take responsibility, says defender Luke Shaw. Photo: Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

LONDON – Manchester United's misfiring players need to take responsibility for a “horrendous” display against West Ham that leaves them languishing in 10th place in the Premier League, defender Luke Shaw said.

United's 3-1 defeat at the London Stadium on Saturday was their third in just seven league games and has left them nine points adrift of leaders Manchester City, as speculation mounts over the future of manager Jose Mourinho.

Left-back Shaw apologised to supporters for United's “awful” performance and said the players need to take a hard look at themselves.

“If you want the truth I think it was honestly horrendous,” he told reporters. “We didn't look like a team that was going to beat West Ham. I think individually and as a team we were awful.

“That's not good enough. It's hard to take and we're sorry to the fans for what they saw. It was not good enough from a Man Utd team with all the talent we have.”

United's reverse, which came after their midweek League Cup exit at the hands of Derby, means they have made their worst start in the league for 29 years.

Luke Shaw apologised to supporters for United's “awful” performance. Photo: Matthew Childs/Reuters
Luke Shaw apologised to supporters for United's “awful” performance. Photo: Matthew Childs/Reuters

In addition to the problems on the pitch, Mourinho confirmed last week that Paul Pogba would not captain the side again after he had implicitly criticised the manager by urging the team to attack more.

United's haul of 10 points from seven games matches their return at this stage of the season under David Moyes in 2013-14 but their inferior goal difference means this is their worst top-flight start since they picked up seven points in 1989-90.

Despite the growing pressure on the manager, Shaw believes it is the players who need to shoulder the blame.

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“We have to look at ourselves as players,” he said. “We're the ones who go on the pitch. The manager isn't on the pitch, is he?

“He's there to put a team out and put a team out that he thinks can win the game. You look at our team and we had a very strong team. No excuses. As players we weren't good enough.

“It just wasn't good enough from us. That shouldn't be happening. Games like this we should be dominating, creating chances, showing people why we deserve to play for Man Utd and that didn't happen. It was very poor from us. Very, very poor.”

Agence France-Presse (AFP)