Soccer

Rio Ferdinand accuses Manchester United of ‘downing tools’ after being ‘smashed’ by Brighton

Manchester United were comfortably beaten by Brighton

Rio Ferdinand has criticised Manchester United’s players for appearing to have “downed tools” after a 4-0 thrashing by Brighton.

Ralf Rangnick’s side were comprehensively outclassed by their hosts at the Amex Stadium, conceding thrice in 15 minutes just after half-time after Moses Caicedo had put Brighton into an early lead.

The defeat ended Manchester United’s slim hopes of a top-four finish, and the club could yet miss out on sixth place if West Ham win their remaining three games.

Ferdinand was left distinctly unimpressed by the lack of “fight, character and desire” shown by his former club’s players in Rangnick’s penultimate game in interim charge.

“It has got to the stage where you can’t even put up a fight as a Man United fan,” Ferdinand said on the FIVE podcast. ”We are getting mocked every week.

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“We have gone down to Brighton to the seaside for a day out. We got pumped and sent back home.

“There is no fight, there is no character and it seems there is no desire. People have downed tools it seems.”

Erik ten Hag has been installed as manager of Manchester United and will take over ahead of next season.

Rangnick arrived in an interim role after the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November but has failed to consistently improve the club’s mixed form amid rumours of dressing room unrest.

Ferdinand believes that the heavy defeat to Graham Potter’s ninth-placed Brighton side shows that many members of the squad have checked out of the end of the season.

“We are getting smashed 4-0 at Brighton,” Ferdinand continued. “Listen, they are a decent team, but United shouldn’t be getting beat 4-0 like that.

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“This is a terrible situation and I really wonder what it is like in that changing room.

“Is there anyone standing up? Are there any characters that are picking people up or is everyone in there thinking that it has gone now? ‘We have gone and that is it.’”

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