Cape Town - Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney insists the players should be held responsible for another disappointing season following their seventh league defeat.
United are in danger of failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League after Saturday's 2-1 reverse at Sunderland left Louis van Gaal's side six points adrift of fourth place.
Van Gaal has come under fire for the team's poor performances towards the end of last year, which saw them drop out of the title race and the Champions League.
But Rooney feels all the criticism levelled at the Dutchman should instead be directed at the squad as they have not been doing the job on the pitch.
"It's a very good group of players. At times it's been frustrating for us as we've under-performed," the England international said.
"And actually the manager has taken a lot of stick for some performances. It's down to us, we're players and we have to perform.
"At times this season we haven't done that. In terms of that, we've probably got off quite lightly and the manager has taken a lot of it.
"But we're going on the pitch. We have to create chances and win games and we haven't done that enough this season."