x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

David Moyes: My job is safe at Manchester United

Under-fire Scottish manager says he and the club are heading in the same direction.

David Moyes challenges Wayne Rooney during a training session at Aon Training Complex on Tuesday. Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images
David Moyes challenges Wayne Rooney during a training session at Aon Training Complex on Tuesday. Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

MANCHESTER // It was the most assured performance anyone connected with Manchester United has produced at Old Trafford in 2014. It was the day David Moyes hit back.

Confident and eloquent, more positive in his rhetoric than his team have been on the pitch, Moyes insisted that, despite his traumatic start as manager at United, his job is secure and he will be afforded the time to oversee his ambitious long-term plans. Sounding more bullish than usual, the Scot claimed that United will rise again under his stewardship and that he will restore them to past glories.

If defeatist words have led to defeats, most recently in Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Liverpool, Moyes hopes upbeat oratory will lead to an upturn, starting with today’s Champions League game against Olympiakos.

United trail 2-0 after the first leg.

“We need to make sure that we work together to get a performance on the night to be remembered,” he said. “I have got a belief in the players, I can see what they can do and hopefully they can show it.”

United, winners of 13 Premier League titles in 21 years, languish seventh in the table, 12 points off the top four, and could be eliminated from the Champions League by a previously unfancied Olympiakos side. Yet Moyes is convinced their fall will be followed by a revival.

“They have seen great success here at Manchester United and they’ll see great success here in future,” he said. “I have no doubt about that. This club is too big. For me, it’s the biggest club in the world and it might not be at this moment in time, it might not feel it today, but I can tell you it is. It will rise again and hopefully it’s not too long [away].”

Liverpool’s victory at Old Trafford was United’s 12th defeat of the season, but Moyes is adamant it has not pushed him closer to the sack.

“My future has not changed one bit,” he said. “I have got a great job. I know exactly the direction I want it to go in. It’s not been the season we hoped, but I have ideas of what I want to do and put in place when the time is right.”

While outsiders wonder if Moyes can survive, he believes the owners, the Glazer family, and the rest of the United board, are steadfast in their backing for him. He has not sought assurances from them.

“The biggest assurance is that they let me get on with the job, we never discuss it [my future],” he said. “We talk about the future, we are making big plans for years going forward. This is why it’s a six-year contract. This is not a club that works on a short-term vision. It works on a long-term vision.”

It always did under his distinguished predecessor. Sir Alex Ferguson, he said, has been “very supportive.” Ferguson’s French lieutenant joined his manager in issuing a rallying cry. Should United exit the competition, this could be Patrice Evra’s last Champions League game as a United player.

The left-back’s contract expires in the summer, but that, he said, is not the main issue.

“It’s not a good day to talk about my future, because the most important thing is Manchester United’s future, not mine,” Evra said. “When I put the Manchester United shirt on, I will give everything. No matter if I will stay or leave, that’s the most important thing.

“Everyone wants to fight for this club. Everyone loves this club. We know we had a bad game in the first leg. I think even a three-year-old Man United fan has been hurting by all the problems.

“It’s a tough moment and you have to show your character and personality. I’m not telling you we’re going to qualify, but I can promise you we are all going to fight and respect the shirt.”

In a season when United have lost their self-respect, that would be welcome.

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