• Premier League

Angry Moyes calls for more Januzaj protection

ESPN staff
December 15, 2013
David Moyes believes Adnan Januzaj is being targeted by defenders © PA Photos

David Moyes has accused opponents of "queuing up to kick" Adnan Januzaj and called on referees to give the youngster more protection.

The Manchester United manager was furious with the approach Aston Villa adopted towards the 18-year-old midfielder in his side's 3-0 win on Sunday and said it is "terrible" officials do not intervene.

And he believes Villa, whose right-back Matthew Lowton was cautioned by referee Lee Mason for fouling Januzaj, copied the approach of other sides he believed targeted the teenager.

Moyes believes officials could have to shoulder the responsibility if Januzaj gets injured.

He said: "In every game, I don't know how many tackles there have been on Januzaj. That is why I am annoyed with fourth officials and referees. Before you know it the boy will get a sore one because he is definitely not getting protected by the officials. It is terrible what they are allowing to go on at the moment. This boy is an incredible talent.

"It's not necessarily one player, they are queuing up to see who can kick him next. Lowton was booked but there were that many tackles on him from different players. It is something the referees are going to have to think about because they are queuing up to kick him. It is a recurring theme. It was definitely not just today. Last week was exactly the same.

"It's for the referees to sort out, that is their job. They are paid to referee games, they are professional. You would hope they would recognise that."

Moyes praised Januzaj for his response and believes his calm temperament will stand him in good stead.

He added: "He will just get up and walk away get on with it, he is a great lad. That is one of his biggest attributes. He has outstanding ability but he can and will just walk away and say 'come on kick me again if you want and I will get up again'."

Villa manager Paul Lambert defended his side and insisted they were not ordered to foul Januzaj.

He said: "If you look at my team, we are not a physical team. We are a young side. Maybe sometimes over-exuberance gets the better of them but I have never sent them out to kick anyone."

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