Football Expert & Columnist
Manchester United affected by defensive uncertainty, says Danny Higginbotham
Last Updated: 23/08/18 3:11pm
Danny Higginbotham says Manchester United’s 3-2 defeat to Brighton on Sunday was down to their lack of a regular centre-back partnership.
Higginbotham - who came through the ranks at Old Trafford and played four times for the first team - highlighted the problems Mourinho faces in settling on a defensive partnership that he can rely on.
"I think the problem they have is that in [Eric] Bailly and [Victor] Lindelof, they have no consistency," Higginbotham told Sky Sports News as he looked ahead to United's Monday Night Football fixture with Tottenham - live on Sky Sports.
Man Utd's defensive problems
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"We have seen [Chris] Smalling play, we have seen [Phil] Jones play and [Nemanja] Matic play at centre-half and there is no consistent partnership.
"You look at any successful team, whether it be domestic or international, it's built around a rock-solid centre-back partnership.
"Mourinho, because he hasn't got consistent performing centre-backs he trusts, the players in front who want to go forward and express themselves have an extra defensive responsibility on their shoulders, so they are playing 10-15 yards deeper than they want to.
"That has a huge knock-on effect on Manchester United going forward."
Watch Manchester United v Tottenham on Monday August 27. Coverage begins on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League at 7pm.