Man United attackers lacking confidence: Cole
Former Red Devils striker believes Lukaku, Rashford and Co are in need of some luck in front of goal
Despite boasting attacking options like Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Alexis Sanchez, Manchester United have conceded as many goals as they have scored in the English Premier League this season.
At various junctures of the fledgling campaign, every member of the quartet has come in for criticism by manager Jose Mourinho and pundits alike.
Former Red Devils striker Andy Cole, who scored 187 English Premier League goals in 414 matches, believes they are lacking in confidence.
Martial is United's joint-topscorer in all competitions with five goals, alongside midfielder Paul Pogba, but before finding the net four times in his last four games, the 22-year-old forward scored just once in his first seven matches.
It's now Lukaku's turn to suffer a goal drought, having failed to score in his last nine matches for the Red Devils.
Sanchez and Rashford, meanwhile, have registered only a goal apiece for United.
Despite being the EPL's third-most prolific player of all time, after Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney, Cole knows all about having a rough patch in front of goal.
Speaking at Our Tampines Hub yesterday in his capacity as the guest of honour for the launch of the JSSL Singapore Professional Academy 7s 2019 youth tournament, the 47-year-old former England international said: "I think it's confidence, confidence is always going to play a major factor in football.
"If you're lacking confidence, not just in football, but in general, it is going to show.
"From the outside looking in, that's what it looks like to me.
"If one of them gets themselves a scruffy goal, they'll be up and running again. It's just a matter of time...
"I've scored loads of scruffy goals, most will say the majority of my goals were scruffy goals.
"That's what happens in football, you get a little ricochet, one off the arm, you don't catch it right, anything like that will give you confidence to move forward."
United themselves could use some good fortune.
With around a third of the season passed, the Red Devils are languishing in eighth spot in the EPL, have been knocked out of the League Cup by lower-league opposition and have won just one game more than they have lost.
After such a shaky start, Cole believes only a top-four finish can salvage United's season.
He said: "United have to finish in the top four. (You need) Champions League football to attract players and make the club stronger the season after...
LUCK OF THE CUP
"In a cup, it's about the luck of the cup.
"We got there (the FA Cup final) last season, nothing says we're guaranteed to get there again this season.
"If you're vying for the league, you've got 38 games to win the league. In the cup, it's about a bit of luck.
"Of course, it is going to be difficult now (to win silverware), with Manchester United not in the League Cup."
Cole was been in the news earlier this week after former Liverpool defender Neil Ruddock admitted that he "loved kicking" the United striker and intentionally tried to injure him.
Cole suffered a double-leg break as a result of a Ruddock tackle during a reserve game in 1996.
The former England defender told talkSPORT on Wednesday that his "great friendship" with Teddy Sheringham was the reason behind his animosity.
Cole and Sheringham famously did not get along off the pitch, despite dovetailing well on it when they were a strike partnership for United.
Responding to Ruddock's comments, Cole said: "If that's the highlight of his career, then let it be the highlight of his career.
"My highlights are having been fortunate enough to win the Treble with Manchester United, (I've) won the Double with United, I've gone on to win the League Cup with Blackburn Rovers...
"Not talking about breaking a former professional's leg, that's not going to be revered.
"People who live in the past, enjoy their past, because that's all they have ."