x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Round rallies for Moyes and Fellaini to do well at Manchester United

Assistant manager has faith in his senior's abilities to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson while Everton laud Baines for his loyalty.

Former Everton manager David Moyes, right, got Marouane Fellaini to join his new club Manchester United but failed to prise away his other target, Leighton Baines, from his old employers. Paul Ellis / AFP
Former Everton manager David Moyes, right, got Marouane Fellaini to join his new club Manchester United but failed to prise away his other target, Leighton Baines, from his old employers. Paul Ellis / AFP

Manchester United's assistant coach Steve Round has defended the club's new manager by saying David Moyes will rise to the challenge of life at Old Trafford.

Moyes succeeded the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson in July but has endured a difficult start to his time at United, picking up only four points from his first three league games and missing out on several transfer targets.

But Round, who followed Moyes to United from Everton, believes the Scot, 50 has the necessary attributes to turn his time with the 20-time English champions into a success.

"Without a doubt, David was ready for this job," Round told the Manchester Evening News.

"He has an incredible desire to succeed. He now has the stature and presence to move to a club like this. I really do believe he will be a big success.

"Now I have been in this club and environment I can understand why Sir Alex and the board appointed him — to keep that continuity, work ethic, drive and feeling about the club going.

"It was very important to them and I can understand now that I have been here and lived it. They were made for each other."

Moyes's only major signing during the transfer window was the Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who arrived from Everton for a fee of £27.5 million (Dh157.4m).

Mooted moves for Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara, who joined Bayern Munich from Barcelona; and Athletic Bilbao's Ander Herrera failed to materialise, but Round feels Fellaini will prove a valuable addition.

"We wanted someone who could give us strength in the middle of midfield and allow one or two of the others to play," Round said.

"Technically, he is excellent. His chest control is arguably one of the best in the world. His feet are really good.

"He is aggressive, tackles, and has great fitness stats. He is one of the highest runners in matches. He will regularly do over 12 kilometres a game.

"He doesn't have the same range of long passing as Michael Carrick, but the way he keeps the ball and his short passing is very good.

"When you are building a squad to compete on all fronts you don't want every single player to be the same. You want options and differences.

"Marouane can sit in front of the defence, go box to box and drop off the front man. He is ready for this step up."

Meanwhile, Roberto Martinez, the Everton manager, wants to reward Leighton Baines' loyalty with a new contract after the club fended off interest from United in the summer transfer window.

Former manager Moyes wanted to take the England left-back and Fellaini to Old Trafford with him, but only succeeded in buying the latter.

While the Belgium international had regularly hinted at looking for a new club over the last 12 months, Baines has been a model professional and Martinez believes that deserves recognition.

"Leighton is the most important player for us now and in the future," said the Everton manager.

"We want to do what we can to reward that and let him know he deserves our appreciation.

"Contract talks will be opened but it is not just about the contract, it is about making sure he knows how much we want him and how much we appreciate him."

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