Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has delivered a damning assessment of the “nightmare” season which he cannot wait to forget.
The feelgood factor that surrounded the club following the interim appointment of Ryan Giggs disappeared on Saturday when Sunderland inflicted a seventh home defeat of the season on United.
The faces in the dugout may have changed but the same problems persist for United on the field.
The hosts were wasteful in possession, their build-up play was slow, and they lacked a clinical touch up front.
Evra could not hide his frustrations after the defeat, which kept United in seventh place in the Premier League.
“This year has been a disaster,” the United left-back said. “This year we have been really poor. We deserve all the criticism. We have not played well enough. We have lost some stupid games.
“When we are on the pitch we try to win every game but it’s been so painful this season, it’s been a nightmare.
“When I look at the table I just feel a big frustration.
“This year is a season I want to forget really quickly.”
A lot of the United players have shied away from publicly stating why they think the team has performed so badly this term.
Former manager David Moyes too was often at a loss to explain his side’s failings in press conferences.
But Evra was not so reticent. The Frenchman said he believes the confidence within the United squad plummeted as soon as Moyes took over following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I think there has been a lack of confidence,” the 32-year-old said.
“Sir Alex Ferguson was the heart of Manchester United. He is a legend. You cannot replace him so quickly.
“We knew it would be difficult but not this difficult. We can do much better than we have done – maybe not win the league but at least qualify for the Champions League with the players we have.
“Every player has to take responsibility,” the defender said. “You always feel responsible even when David Moyes was in charge. I will not point the finger at anyone else. This year everyone failed.”