Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick refused to point the finger of blame at manager David Moyes after 2-0 Champions League defeat against Olympiakos.
Carrick was pressed by ITV Sport on whether boss Moyes was one of the reasons for United’s slump in form this season, but he would not take the bait as he tried to offer some hope of a second leg revival for the Premier League champions.
"You are looking for me to blame someone, but as players we are not getting good results," said Carrick. "That is how we are judged, we know that. We are not out of it at all, so we look forward to the second leg.
"It’s a disappointing night. To lose like we have is hugely disappointing. We are still in with a chance going back to Old Trafford, but it’s not going to be easy. We have lost a game and we came here hoping to win. We haven’t done it and while we are not out of the tie, it’s not ideal.
"They were not causing us any problems and the goals has come from nothing. The second goal has put us on the back foot, but we have to look forward to the second leg and we still have a chance. We just haven’t been getting the right results. As players we have to stand up and take it on the chin. That’s the business we are in."
Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane offered a very different slant on the performance of Moyes and his players in Greece, as he offered this withering assessment of their display.
"One or two of the players maybe aren’t good enough. They are being selected by Man United and will do their best, but they are not up to it," fumed Keane in his role as an ITV pundit.
"I feel United need six top quality players. We know people will be leaving in the summer, so I think five or six players are needed to rebuild the club. There is a number of reasons for this [decline]. New manager, new ideas, United have missed out on a lot of players in the last few years and one or two players playing for Man United are not showing enough quality.
"It’s about people taking responsibility. We heard Wayne Rooney talking about that before the game and this is not all about Alex Ferguson, this is not all about David Moyes. Yeah, they will look at it and say we can do more, particularly David Moyes and his staff, but the players have to take responsibility. The performance was flat, no urgency.
"They keep saying next game, next game. For some of them, there won’t be another game. That is the reality. Not good enough. I would say David Moyes is shocked with the lack of quality he is working with."
Keane’s rant did not end there, as he then turned his focus on the English Premier League. "We have also been brainwashed to think this Premier League is the best in the world - nonsense," he barked. "It is the best brand, but we have seen in the last few weeks with a lot of the English teams struggling that they have fallen behind the best in Europe.
"I don’t think any of us predicted this result. United just didn’t turn up, but let’s give a bit of credit to Olympiakos. None of us saw that performance coming, but they were very good."