• Premier League

Moyes comes out fighting at United

ESPN staff
February 12, 2014
As pressure continues to mount on David Moyes, the Manchester United manager's news conference to preview Wednesday's clash with Arsenal lasted just two and a half minutes

David Moyes has come out fighting and again insisted Manchester United picked the right manager in him for the job of succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson.

Despite the club's form, which has seen the defending champions fall nine points behind fourth-placed Liverpool, Moyes has retained the backing of a large proportion of the fans.

United go to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal on Wednesday night on the back of Sunday's disappointing 2-2 draw against Fulham at Old Trafford.

"The support has been fantastic," he said. "The right clubs pick the right managers and the right managers pick the right club. I always hoped Manchester United would come looking for me and they did in the end. The support doesn't surprise me.

"I was given a six-year contract because it was a long-term deal. It was always going to take time. There is rebuilding going on year after year here and we will continue to try to do that."

Former United midfielder Roy Keane told ITV.com that "five or six players" are required at Old Trafford to turn the club around, and Moyes suggested the club had always anticipated a difficult start to his tenure.

He added: "Anybody who knows and understands football knew that changes had to be made."

Moyes' position could come under increasing scrutiny as the club face mounting pressure from shareholders over their poor form, however. United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is expected to be asked to outline how the club intend to bounce back financially should they fail to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 1995.

Woodward is due to speak with investors about the second quarter results on Wednesday, which will continue their upward trend on 12 months ago, but the prospect of missing out on the Champions League - even if they reach the Europa League - would cost the club millions in revenue.

And during the broadcast segment of his pre-match news conference, which lasted less than three minutes, Moyes also revealed his frustration with the way he and his team had been portrayed after the 2-2 draw with Fulham on Sunday.

United had dominated the game but their failure to beat to the Premier League's bottom side at Old Trafford drew inevitable criticism across the media, with their tactical approach - which relied heavily on crosses - coming under particular scrutiny.

Even Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen, who had been a member of Sir Alex Ferguson's coaching team, described their approach as "straightforward" while centre-back Dan Burn said the visitors were "happy" with the tactics they faced.

"Anybody who watched the game the other day and didn't think we deserved to win by a hundred miles knows nothing about it," added Moyes.

"There have been other games like that, but we are not looking for excuses. We can only blame ourselves and we need to do better.

"I thought only one team came to win, but you [media] watched it, so it was probably a game for you to write how badly Manchester United had done, rather than what the opposition played like.

"A lot of people are looking at the Fulham game and saying we crossed it too much. If we hadn't crossed it they would be saying we should have crossed it more. We are coming to terms with it. We need the fortune to change."

He added: "You need to have a football intelligence, a football brain, to understand first of all."

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