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Manchester United have a “relegation standard midfield” and are lacking “heart, passion and courage”, according to former Red Devils defender Paul Parker.
United have endured a difficult campaign and are seventh in the Premier League, after a frustrating 1-0 defeat to Wolves last time out.
While the majority of the team has struggled for form this season, United’s midfield has been a particular area of concern.
Bruno Fernandes, Fred and Nemanja Matic have all come in for criticism, while Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek have been peripheral figures this season.
Parker insists United’s midfield options are simply not good enough for the team to be challenging near the top of the table.
“People have spoken about how they’ve seen Rangnick as a mentor, so you look to him for a structure and what can take them to the next step,” Parker told BetFred, via Metro.
“However, the problem is how can you build when the players you’ve got don’t want to give enough or aren’t good enough to step in.
“We saw that against Wolves. Manchester United have a relegation standard midfield at this moment in time.”
His comments come amid reports of dressing room discontent at Old Trafford, with as many as 17 players currently unhappy at the club, according to The Daily Mail.
Parker has hit out at the club’s big name players for failing to show courage in testing times.
“Manchester United have names but they don’t have what’s more important than anything and that’s heart, passion and courage,” added Parker, who won two Premier League titles during his time at Old Trafford.
Interim head coach Rangnick has also faced criticism for failing to improve results since replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November.
However, the German has been backed by former England boss Roy Hodgson, who says Rangnick must be given sufficient time to implement his ideas at a club with “big egos”.
"He's a very serious football man who's had fantastic results wherever he's gone," Hodgson told Sky Sports.
"I have sympathy and empathy with anybody who finds themselves in the firing line because I've been there myself.
"I think one of the problems with Ralf might have been that people have built up him and his methods in a way which is going to be very difficult to live up to.
“Certainly in the conversations I've had with him, it's not been a question of 'I know something in football that nobody else knows'.
"What he does know is what's required to produce a good team and get a team playing together and get the right balance between attacking and defending.
"Of course he also knows, I'm sure, about players and about how difficult it is to deal with players.
"Coming into Manchester United, he's definitely come into a club where there are a lot of big players, a lot of big egos, and trying to mould them together to get that balance that he really wants is never going to be an easy job. It's going to take time."
United return to action at home against Aston Villa in the third round of the FA Cup on Monday, before the two sides meet again in the Premier League on Saturday.