Manchester United have struggled against lesser sides this season due to complacency, according to their central defender Victor Lindelof.
The Swedish player has been at the heart of much of United’s defensive problems this season, which suggests that in his case complacency comes across as being scared of high balls and being unable to properly mark his man.
Nonetheless, the partnership he has formed with Harry Maguire has been much more secure than anything that has been seen at United since the departure of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. There is plenty of improvement to come, and it would be unfair to aim all the criticism at Lindelof and the rest of United’s defence.
He himself explained the problem as one of complacency, and while on international duty with Sweden, spoke about it, saying: “I generally think there is one thing we need to get better at if we are going to get back to the level Manchester United should be at: that’s winning matches week in and week out.
”Sometimes it does not have to be neat, but you should win anyway.
”There’s been a bit of a problem - If we go into the matches against big clubs, we’re all connected, and we get results.
“Then a few days go by and we meet a slightly lower team, then we have to go in exactly the same way, not get comfortable.
”We start well, play fast and get to positions – but then we stop with it after 20 minutes, complicate it and play poorly.”
United sit in seventh position and are only nine points off the top four. United face rivals for a Europa League spot, Sheffield United, in their first match back from international duty. Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba remain injury doubts for the game.