Ferdinand 'embarrassed' by United's struggles

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has labelled the club's struggles this season "embarrassing".

Premier League champions United have endured a torrid first campaign under the stewardship of David Moyes, and sit some 18 points adrift of table-topping Chelsea in seventh place.

United look set to miss out on qualification for the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 1993, with chastening 3-0 defeats at home to fierce rivals Liverpool and Manchester City this month leading to mounting speculation that Moyes could be on his way out of the club.

A plane carrying a banner calling for Moyes' dismissal, which has been funded by a group of disgruntled supporters, is expected to fly over Old Trafford during United's home clash with Aston Villa on Saturday.

Moyes claimed on Friday that even Alex Ferguson would struggle to compete with United's current squad - even though his legendary predecessor won the Premier League by 11 points last term - and Ferdinand has admitted that their fall from grace is humiliating.

"It's embarrassing - it becomes a personal insult," the 35-year-old told BT Sport.

"I don't want to go out when the game has finished and you even stop watching TV. I don't want to take my kids to school. I don't want to walk on the school path and think I'm hearing things or seeing people look at me because we lost a game.

"I don't want to fill my car up with petrol or go to the shops.

"It gets personal with everyone looking at you and talking about the form and stuff. You don't want to live like that, you want to live freely and comfortably.

"You don't want to see other people lifting titles - that's what we're used to, that's what we want, that's what we train and work for.

"We've got no divine right, don't get me wrong, you've got to earn that right and this season we simply haven't done that."

Following the visit of Villa, United face the daunting prospect of meeting all-conquering European champions Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.