David Moyes has presided over United's worst ever start to a Premier League season, having won just three of his first eight matches and lost to Liverpool, Manchester City and West Brom.
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“There is still a sense that David Moyes is finding out about his players and his own way in the job,” Neville told reporters. “The key for me is that the speed of their game through the midfield is not quick enough.
“United have always been about those relentless waves of attacks, sustained for good periods without counter which would eventually overwhelm the opposition. Because this isn’t happening opponents have time to rest and recover between attacks.
“And it means teams are perhaps playing a few more attacking players against United and going into games with a bit more confidence than usual. Southampton certainly showed that in the first 20 minutes of the game.
“I have no doubt that David Moyes will be an excellent United manager. But for now he is having to endure some painful results.”
United saw high-profile bids for midfield targets Thiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabregas fail last summer, though Marouane Fellaini was eventually secured from Everton on deadline day.