Cape Town - Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville believes the side's season has been a struggle due to inconsistency and under-performances from key players.
United were once again in unconvincing form on Saturday as they drew 0-0 at Old Trafford against Crystal Palace.
The result means the Red Devils are now in seventh position on 21 points and trail leaders Manchester City by a massive 14 points.
Neville, speaking on his podcast, said: "I didn't go to Old Trafford, but I spoke to people who did. There's a lethargy, in terms of the fans going into the ground, watching the game, players on the pitch.
"I think Jose gave the right message before the game saying they will end up in the top four. I don't think it would have been acceptable at the start of the season, and certainly the start of last season, to say the top four is achievable, because he will have wanted to challenge for the title with the money that has been spent. That's where United need to be.
"But they're not near that level at this moment in time, and it typifies really what they are at the moment, which is inconsistent. You can see them go away to Chelsea and nearly win, go away to Watford and Young Boys (in the UEFA Champions League), and sometimes you can watch them at home against Wolves or Crystal Palace or Valencia, and they're nowhere near.
"They're inconsistent, not just in games, but from half to half within games. It's not right obviously at this moment in time, the players are not performing anywhere near their level.
"You'd argue Jose at this moment in time will be scratching his head about which players to put out on the pitch.
"But he's made changes before and it hasn't really made any difference so it's just about battling and fighting away at it, because it is a struggle. I think that's the word to describe it."
United are next in action in the league next Saturday when they face Southampton at St Mary's Stadium in Hampshire.
On Tuesday they face Young Boys in the Champions League at Old Trafford.