We have got to start playing like United
Marcus Rashford has stressed Manchester United need to stop thinking about finishing in the top four and concentrate on playing like the club should.
The Reds competed well in the first half of the derby before title-chasing City took control with goals from Bernardo Silva and substitute Leroy Sane.
The double salvo deflated the crowd and the players and it became a disappointingly low-key end to a game that had started with such intensity.
A seventh defeat in nine games clearly pained Rashford, who worked hard in attack, and he spoke honestly to Sky Sports about the defeat and what needs to be rectified ahead of Sunday's clash with Chelsea at Old Trafford.
"We haven’t been playing like Man United and that’s not right," he said. "The bare minimum it should be is to work hard and give your all for the badge, for the supporters, for the fans. And just for the club, but it's important as well to give it for yourself, because it’s been a tough road to get where we were.
"We never expected to be in this position, but we got there and to be not putting in those performances we were at the beginning of January, it’s disappointing for the players. The last couple of weeks, we know what’s been going wrong and it’s just a matter of putting it back to how it was and mentality and willingness to run for your team."
Rashford was not prepared to consider the bigger picture ahead of the match with Chelsea at the weekend, even though victory could resurrect our flagging hopes of a top-four spot, particularly after Arsenal were beaten 3-1 at Wolves.
"We lost the game," he added. "What’s important is this game, I’ve always said it’s more than just a game. Forget the league, forget the top four, this game you don’t lose and, toda,y they’ve come here and they’ve beaten us and it’s disappointing as a Man United fan.
"It’s more just getting used to doing it on the pitch because we’ve shown that we can do it. We’ve shown ourselves, we’ve shown the manager and the fans, they know that we can do it and that’s what is the most disappointing thing because we’re not doing it and we have to get to the bottom of it and start performing like Man United.
"Forget the top four, forget Champions League next season. We have to play like Man United for ourselves."
The Manchester derby gallery
All of the action from Wednesday night's match at Old Trafford.
When asked what the mood was like in the dressing room, and whether there were some harsh words for each other, the England international stressed how vital it is that everybody continues to stick together.
"No, we never call each other out," he said. "But we understand. We have to be real with each other and it’s never a case of calling someone out to single someone out.
"Never, ever will any of us do that in the team, so it’s a matter of trying to improve each other and that’s important in a team. If you want to improve, we have a lot of young players, so we need those type of instructions."
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