Ashley Young gave a blunt assessment of Manchester United’s display at Brighton, admitting Jose Mourinho’s side “just weren’t good enough”.
Mourinho questioned the desire and commitment of his players after a Pascal Gross header condemned United to a 1-0 defeat.
Mourinho had made six changes to his line-up but it backfired with the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial doing little to push their case for regular starts.
And skipper Young conceded: “It wasn’t good enough, especially in the first half as we weren’t at the races.
“In the first half they had the better chances and we didn’t create as much as we should have.
“We put the pressure on in the last 20 minutes, but the goal wasn’t meant to be and we are disappointed.”
United could have all but guaranteed a second-placed finish but might still need points from their final games against West Ham and Watford to complete the job.
“I am not sure what was wrong, we just weren’t good enough, that is the honest truth,” added Young on MUTV.
“We have to pick ourselves up as we have got points to play for, we have games left to play and we deserve to finish in second position, but we need to put points on the board from now until the end of the season.”
Victory for Brighton secured their Premier League status with two games to spare, an achievement which has seen boss Chris Hughton nominated for the Barclays Manager of the Year Award.
Homegrown defender Lewis Dunk said: “For me, it’s probably a little bit more special. I’ve seen the club rise from nothing really. I’ve seen it from the times where the university was our training ground.
“But to see where the club is now, it’s amazing. We’re in the Premier League again next season and it’s only going to improve from here.”