The Portuguese coach laid into the team after succumbing to a 2-1 loss against Huddersfield Town on Saturday - their first defeat of the season.
"Jose doesn't pull his punches, especially in recent years," Pearce told Sky Sports News. "He has been more forthright in his criticism and his players have reacted well to that, Luke Shaw and Juan Mata, for example, have come out and rolled their sleeves up.
"He needs to get a reaction this week, with a tough cup tie [at Swansea] and then Spurs come to town next weekend. He needs two big performances from his team.
"I think Saturday's result was a one-off blip and I think the next two performances will be much better."
Currently, the Red Devils are second in the league table, five points adrift of leaders Manchester City.