David Moyes has dismissed talk that Manchester United have lost their fear factor following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
United have now won just one of their four Premier League home games this season after Adam Lallana's late goal clinched a 1-1 Old Trafford draw for Southampton.
It means the Red Devils are eight points adrift of early pacesetters Arsenal, and have still to record back-to-back wins for their new boss.
Ferguson was watching from the stands in his new role as a club director, and Moyes insisted his fellow Scot's exit had not resulted in United's poor run of form.
“The fear comes from the team on the pitch,” he said. “Obviously Sir Alex Ferguson has a great history, and his experience will always work in charge of any team. But the players have always been the people that have to turn out and do it.”
But United are lacking the killer instinct, having taken the lead through Robin van Persie but missed chances to seal a victory -- and were made to pay by Lallana’s late intervention.
“We should probably have put the game to bed earlier,” Moyes said. “We had a couple of chances, hit the bar and had a couple of other opportunities.
“We had some pockets of play when we were very good and there were times when we were not as good. It was a mixed game at times, but we still had those chances that I was hoping we would finish off.”
The brightest spot for United was the performance of Adnan Januzaj, who signed a five-year contract earlier in the day, and the 18-year-old delivered a brilliant pass to send Wayne Rooney clean through.
Although Rooney's effort was saved by Artur Boruc, Van Persie tucked home the rebound for the 26th-minute breakthrough and Moyes said of Januzaj: “We have been trying to get him signed for quite a few months, not just in my time.
“He's an exceptionally talented player and one we are happy to have. He has not looked out of place in the team. He has created goals and been part of some of our best passing movements.
“He's a very talented player and we will try to use him at the right times and make sure we get the best out of him.”
Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino, whose team remained fourth in the table, said: “Getting a good win at Anfield and a positive draw today is amazing for the club.
“Why not? We want to keep on believing we can do well. We set no limits. The sky is the limit.
“It's strange to come to Old Trafford and not see Alex Ferguson in the dugout,” he said.
“It's not easy for Moyes to be under the shadow of Alex Ferguson. But I think he is a great manager. He is a person I admire. I wish him all the best, and hope he can be successful like Sir Alex.”
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.