Manchester United suffered a shock 3-2 defeat to Brighton last weekend to pile some early pressure on manager Jose Mourinho.
His players came in for some heavy criticism for a lacklustre display in which captain Paul Pogba admitted his ‘attitude’ was not right.
Their second game of the season followed a summer of drama involving Mourinho with the Portuguese clashing with the likes of Anthony Martial and Pogba, as well as bemoaning the club’s failure to splash the cash on a new centre-back.
And Souness feels the former Chelsea boss’ perceived negative attitude in the hotseat needs to change if he wants to inspire his squad to better performances.
“These are difficult times for United, the spotlight is on them. The criticism after two games is harsh but it’s Man United, arguably the biggest team in the world,” he said.
“That’s not to say if they were to beat Tottenham in their next game, win well and play very attractive football, that the spotlight goes somewhere else.
“It’s now out there on Mourinho, and I don’t expect it to go any time soon. But I wouldn’t talk about him leaving Manchester United yet.
“I’ve been in a dug-out opposite him but I don’t really know him. He looks unhappy in his job. The manager sets the tone at the football club.
“Every day he turns up for work it’s all about the mood he’s setting. Right now, the players are not enjoying that environment.”
United’s defence came under fire for their display on the south coast with Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof forming a partnership at the back – two players Mourinho is responsible for signing.
New summer signing Fred failed to sparkle in front of the AMEX crowd while Martial struggled to make an impact in his first start.
Souness was in attendance for the match and gave a pretty damning verdict when assessing the quality of Mourinho’s squad.
“I was at their game at Brighton on Sunday and they looked a very, very ordinary squad,” he said.
“You take each part of their team — forget [David] de Gea, he is a top goalkeeper — their defence looks shaky, their midfield has no real creativity and up front, there is no energy.
“The players have to find a spark, whatever they might feel about any other individual at the club.
“If you’re a big player, you’re playing for yourself, first and foremost. Anyone else is secondary. Get your own game sorted first.”
The Red Devils will look to get back to winning ways when they host Tottenham at Old Trafford on Monday night (8pm).