Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Ince has urged Old Trafford boss Jose Mourinho not to be a “dinosaur” and to “start attacking teams”.
Ince says Mourinho is known for a defensive style of play but must adapt if he is to match his success with other clubs.
After failing to win any of their past four games, United fought back from two down to beat Newcastle 3-2 on Saturday.
And Ince remains hopeful of a revival, saying “results can change things”.
Mourinho took over at United in 2016 and won the Europa League and the EFL Cup in his first season in charge. They finished second in the Premier League last term and lost the FA Cup final to Chelsea.
The Portuguese has won league titles in four different countries – including the Premier League three times as Chelsea boss – as well as the Champions League with Porto and Inter Milan.
On Saturday, United produced an attacking second-half display to overturn a 2-0 deficit, and ex-England international Ince told BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek programme: “What he has to understand is the game’s evolved.
“It’s not about when he was at Inter Milan going in the Champions League and having to park the bus and go defensively. The philosophy and teams that he’s had have been completely different to Manchester United.
“Manchester United has a tradition of playing attacking football. Fans want to see entertaining football.”
Mourinho has been under pressure after United made their worst start to a league campaign for 29 years and they went out of the Carabao Cup on penalties to Championship side Derby.
In the build-up to the Newcastle match, one newspaper reported that he would be sacked regardless of the result.
They are now eighth in the Premier League table, six points off Manchester City and Liverpool at the top, having played a game more.
Ince added: “I’d like him to stay but he has to start changing from his methods that he used years back to understand that the game’s gone forward.
“Don’t be a dinosaur and start attacking teams like we have done over the years.”
The 50-year-old also believes Mourinho’s relationship with midfielder Paul Pogba has contributed to the club’s recent poor form.
The pair were involved in an apparent training-ground dispute last week, with Ince saying it has “become a bit of a joke” and is “affecting the players”.
Ince, who played for six years under former boss Sir Alex Ferguson from 1989 to 1995, said: “Nowadays players have changed.
“We’re not in an era when Alex Ferguson can come in at half-time and slaughter me or [former players] Roy Keane or Mark Hughes and you respond to what he’s saying – players are a little bit more fragile now and they need an arm around the shoulder.
“When you play for Manchester United you play for the biggest club in the world.
“You have to perform well every week, be at your best consistently every week, train well every day and there’s a lot of pressure to do that.
“I don’t think some of these players can handle what it takes to play for Manchester United – and that’s a major, major issue.”
‘Players and hierarchy should share the blame’ – Shearer
Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer also believes Manchester United’s players – and hierarchy – should share the blame with manager Jose Mourinho for an “embarrassing” start to the season,
“The whole club of late has been embarrassing,” the ex-Newcastle striker said.
“I think they all have to share the blame.”
Shearer believes that United’s most marked decline has been in defence. Only Cardiff, Huddersfield and Fulham have let in more goals this season in the top flight.
“This team defensively only conceded one more goal than Manchester City last season, and they are all over the place this year because they are constantly hearing their manager tell them they are not good enough,” he said.
“The board has not backed Jose Mourinho either, though. I think that is clear. They needed a centre-half in the summer and he did not get the backing that he wanted.
“And the players have to take their share of the blame because they can put the effort in like they did in the second half against Newcastle.
Manchester United’s fixture list looks imposing. After the forthcoming international break, their next six games include matches against Chelsea, Juventus twice and Manchester City.