Jose Mourinho’s inconsistent Manchester United side are facing the “devastating” threat of failing to finish inside the Premier League’s top four, according to Sam Allardyce.
The Red Devils have shown glimpses of what they are capable of this season, with a three-game winning streak having eased some of the pressure which had been building prior to the international break.
They were, however, to be held to a 1-1 draw by Wolves in their latest outing, with an opening weekend victory over Leicester remaining their solitary success at Old Trafford this term.
Allardyce knows all about the challenges of top-flight competition from time spent with the likes of Bolton, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Everton and he believes United may be in danger of falling short in their efforts to secure a Champions League berth for 2019-20.
He told talkSPORT of the struggles being endured by Mourinho’s side: “I think that at the moment the one of the top six that has the biggest worry is probably Man United.
“I wouldn’t like to say at the moment but it’s going to be a struggle if they’re not careful to finish in the top four.
“I think that’s going to be devastating for Man United and Jose, but it’s still a bit early to tell.
“There were signs they were on the right track, they had a comfortable win in Europe. But maybe that European game has affected some of the players on Saturday. Maybe that was the real key element that Manchester United underperformed.
“Manchester United have always been able to cope with that situation but maybe they didn’t cope with it so well.
“It’s always a good time to play against a team when they come back from Europe, whether it’s the Europa League or Champions League. Maybe there was a little bit of a hangover from that Champions League trip.”
United had breezed past Young Boys in their Champions League opener prior to being held at home by Wolves.
There are, however, a number of tough challenges to come after that, with domestic and continental fixtures against West Ham, Valencia, Newcastle, Chelsea, Juventus and Everton set to take the Red Devils through to the end of November.