Manchester United should not be “waving the white flag” according to Micah Richards after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claimed they were not title contenders.
The Red Devils drew last weekend as Dominic Calvert-Lewin secured a last gasp equaliser for Everton.
It was the third time in United’s last five games that they’ve dropped points as Manchester City continue to pull away at the summit.
Solskjaer said after the stalemate that it was too early for his team to be in a title race as he instead focused on their development.
But Richards has questioned his mentality given their proximity to City ahead of a Manchester derby next month.
“The teams play each other at the Etihad Stadium in three weeks — anything is possible in this most unusual season. Why wave the white flag now?
“It’s not the United way to concede. I know the club has been in transition since Sir Alex Ferguson retired and there were difficulties for David Moyes (who had the hardest task of all), Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho but Solskjaer’s appointment brought stability.
“After that honeymoon period, when Solskjaer revived the atmosphere, their focus had to be about winning once again.
“No matter how much the people at a club change, the values should never alter: United exist to be successful, they are one of the biggest clubs in world football, they are not some over-achieving mid-table team.
“What other reason would you go for? Harry Maguire is 28 next month, he left Leicester because he felt it was the final step forward in his career for honours.”
The pundit went on to say that United should be primed to seize the moment and their reluctance to do so underlines a shift in the culture.
“United have been expensively assembled and the players should be ready to deliver,” he added.
“In a one-match shootout they are capable of beating anyone, as they showed away at Paris Saint-Germain in October. But where has the belief gone to show that performances like that can be sustained?
“It says, to me that the culture has changed and standards have been allowed to be lowered. That was never the Manchester United way.”