David Moyes has turned up the heat on his Manchester United players, venting his displeasure at their performance levels in the privacy of the dressing room following Sunday's defeat against Swansea, reports Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star.
The Scotsman tore into his team, as his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson would have once done, in reaction to United being left with just the Capital One Cup as their only realistic chance of domestic silverware this season.
Moyes has refrained from publicly attacking any of his squad, despite their consistent failures on the pitch.
However, a dressing room source for the Daily Star said:
The manager may have claimed after the game that United played well, but that’s not what he told his players. He went ballistic in the dressing room and ripped into them. He let it be known what he thought.
James Ducker of The Times also commented on Moyes' attack in the dressing room, describing it as a "tirade."
United under Moyes have flattered to deceive.
Their position of seventh in the Premier League is compounded by several other unwanted statistics.
Moyes' reaction towards his players is no surprise. It is almost impossible to believe that a championship-winning squad could surrender so much of their quality in only six months, but the evidence is clear.
As Sir Alex Ferguson had to clear the decks in 1986 and weed out the toxicity within the squad he inherited, so Moyes will have to, in 2014.
With the January transfer window now open, Moyes has a chance to perform reconstructive surgery on his team, but the chances of an early success in his United career are fading fast.
The Glazer family have pledged to support Moyes in the transfer market as the club target a new central midfielder in January, per Bryan Swanson from Sky Sports.
However, Moyes was guarded when asked about transfer activity after the Swansea FA Cup defeat, according to Swanson's article:
We would like to bring people in but are those players available? There is an urgency but there's no point in me hyping it up because the players we would like to bring in are probably not available in January.
The club are also in the search of a new full-back, and have singled out Fabio Coentrao as the solution to replacing Patrice Evra long term (per Jamie Jackson from The Guardian.) However, Jackson reports that this deal may not come to fruition, despite United agreeing terms with the player.
Real Madrid have a reluctance to sell any of their players at this time, with Carlo Ancelotti recently quoted saying by Jackson: "No players are leaving and we're not going to sign anyone. The window is closed for us."
It is clear that there are hard times ahead for United but if the owners financially back their new manager, there is every chance Moyes can turn this situation around.
It is essential that United acquire new players in this window, or Champions League qualification could slip from their grasp, long before the season ends.