Roy Keane has urged Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand to “step up” at Manchester United, as David Moyes' side continues to struggle in the Premier League.
United has endured a dismal season and currently sits in seventh, a staggering 18 points behind league leader Chelsea.
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The club has little hope of qualifying for the Champions League – and faces a battle to reach the Europa League – with Moyes coming under increasing pressure.
United is already eyeing up possible replacements for Moyes, but Keane has told the club's senior players to start leading by example – and has backed Moyes to rebuild an ageing squad.
“I don’t know where you start,” Keane said, while speaking at University College Cork. “They need a number of players. Defensively, there are players leaving and I don’t think it helps Nemanja Vidic is going, people are talking about Patrice Evra and obviously Rio and Giggsy are coming to an end.
“They are lacking a few leaders at the moment and I don’t think they have that type of player in the group. But I think United will be all right and David Moyes will get plenty of time. The man deserves it. He’s got vast experience, but his staff – Steve Round and Phil Neville – and a couple of senior players, Rio and Giggsy, they have to step up to the plate.
“One or two of the new players are getting criticism, but it’s up to the players who have been there a few years who know what United are about.”
Keane drew parallels with his playing days and believes United needs some “defining moments” if the xlub is to turn its form around. He added: “We had tough days.
“We ground out results, we survived a few times, we got lucky breaks. When we won the league [in 1996], at Newcastle we could have been five nil down at halftime, yet we ended up winning with Eric Cantona nicking a goal.
“You need defining moments, but this team will not find it because they don’t have it in the group.”
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