Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has claimed the reason behind the club’s poor record against the ‘big six’ is down to a negative mindset.
The former United defender feels the team is simply trying to avoid defeat against our direct rivals rather than try to win such games.
“United against the top six have played seven and won zero. We’ve drawn five and lost two,” Rio Ferdinand told the FIVE YouTube channel.
“I don’t think it’s as bad as people make out, maybe. When we’re dropping points at Sheffield United at home, that’s more concerning for me. Dropping points like that where you’re expected to go and win.
“You bully the lesser teams in the league and you don’t lose against the big boys and you try and win the odd one here and there. Man United have still got games to play against the big six.
“This table of played seven and won none [against the top six] could look very different by the time the end of the season comes if we play against them and beat a couple of them. That’s a big if.
“You don’t want to lose to teams around you but you do want to start taking more points than what we have. After getting beat 6-1 by Spurs there is going to be that defence mechanism that kicks in as a team. You don’t want to be embarrassed like that.
“But there has to be a point then where you open up a little bit. You can’t play with the straps on in the big games too much because it becomes something that’s hard to break.
“I feel like we’ve played not to get beat. Man United of old, you play to win those games.”
Next up for the club is a tricky trip to Selhurst Park to face Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace side on Wednesday night.
United tasted our first defeat for the season against the Eagles and will have to fire on all cylinders to secure all three points this time around.