Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Manchester United's David Moyes ready for Everton fans' abuse at Old Trafford

Manchester United's David Moyes ready for Everton fans' abuse at Old Trafford

Former Toffees boss defends his record and the manner of his Goodison departure but admits flak on Wednesday would be no surprise
Jeer we go: Moyes faces Everton on Wednesday for the first time since quitting
Jeer we go: Moyes faces Everton on Wednesday for the first time since quitting
David Moyes is bracing himself for a hostile backlash from Everton fans at Old Trafford.
Moyes faces his former club on Wednesday night for the first time since walking out on them in the summer to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson in charge of Manchester United.
Although Moyes spent 11 years at the Goodison club and turned them into a credible Premier League force, some fans have not forgiven him for turning his back on the Toffees.
Despite his impressive record at Everton, Moyes said: “I wouldn’t be surprised by football supporters, but I think Everton supporters know and are well aware of what was done.
“The Premier League has been going just over 20 years, and they had a top-10 finish maybe once in that first 10-year period.
“In the second 10-year period, we finished in the top 10 on a regular basis.
“So I think if someone really looked at it, they would understand and hopefully realise I helped push the club in the right direction.
“I had a great rapport with the fans at Everton, but things wouldn’t surprise me - I’ve got to do a job for Manchester United, while Everton supporters have to support their team, which they’ve always done.”
 Moyes ran his contract down on Merseyside, which meant Everton did not receive any financial compensation when he decided to leave.
But the Scot insisted he acted with honour and integrity over his move to the champions and said the timing of the job offer meant there was no other way it could have happened.
“I don’t think there was any animosity built up from that, because I agreed a deal a month before the end of last season,” said Moyes.
“That was a decision taken by Manchester United.
“I had a contract and was deciding what my future was going to be at Everton and how we were going to go forward at Everton.
“In the meantime, four or five weeks before the end of the season, I got a call from Sir Alex. If I hadn’t received that call, I’m sure I’d still be working with Bill Kenwright as manager of Everton.
“That’s possible. It didn’t happen. For different reasons, it didn’t happen that way.”
Fond farewell: Many Everton fans gave Moyes an appreciative send-off
Paul Thomas
 There was further conflict with his old club in the summer when United made what Everton described as an “insulting and derisory” double offer of £28million for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines.
Moyes, who eventually bought Fellaini for £27m but missed out on Baines, said: “I totally understand that and have no qualms about it at all. Things could maybe have been done a bit differently, but that’s football.”
Moyes is no doubt be aware of the quip at his expense doing the rounds this season.
The Scot, so the wisecrack goes, spent 11 years trying to get Everton above United and has finally achieved that goal - with his former club fifth and his current employers eighth.
But Moyes knows it will be no laughing matter if United fail to beat his former club and fall further off the pace in the title race.
After three games on the road, their emphatic 5-0 Champions League win away at Bayer Leverkusen sandwiched by two disappointing Premier League draws at Cardiff and Tottenham, United simply HAVE to beat Everton.
Currently nine points adrift of leaders Arsenal, Moyes admitted the champions cannot afford to lose any more ground on Arsene Wenger’s pace-setters and fears being cast adrift if the gap becomes any bigger.
Asked if there was a danger of United falling too far back to make a title challenge, Moyes said: “Yes, there is. We’ve got to make sure we keep ourselves close enough to be competing.
“We got ourselves in a really good position after the Arsenal game, when we won at home, and we then went to Cardiff and looked like we were going to win but didn’t. That’s where we slipped up, because I thought drawing at Tottenham was a pretty good point.
“I couldn’t put my finger on it, but when you look at the amount of games we’ve played, we’ve found that maybe we haven’t been quite as good in some. I could pick the two or three out where we have been a bit disappointing, but there have been signs we’ve been getting better.
“We’ve gone 12 or 13 games unbeaten, and we want to keep that going. We know [we can win the title] if we’re on the coat-tails of the leaders going into the New Year.
“It’s never been a situation where United have ever been too far away. They’re always in a similar position and we’ve got to make sure we’re in there - that’s why every game at the moment is really important for us.”
 Moyes insisted he will not let emotion or sentiment get in the way on the night, insisting he will view the encounter with his former employers with the cold detachment required to emerge triumphant.
“It’s about getting three points to try and make sure we’re in a good position in the league,” he said. “We have to try and keep hanging in there.
“We’ve two home games now and we have to try and make the most of them. We want to be in the mix and we don’t want to be too far away from the teams at the top.
“After the game I will be the first one to go and see the Everton players and say hello to them. I’ll have a drink with the old staff at Everton, no doubt about that.
“But there can’t be any emotion because it’s not me. I’ve got another club now and my club is United, and that’s the one I’m interested in getting results for and winning for.”
With Michael Carrick injured and Phil Jones suspended, Marouane Fellaini is likely to be recalled to face is former club.
Fellaini has failed to live up to his £27million fee since joining United in the summer but Moyes backed him to be a hit.
Marouane Fellaini watches his team from the bench
Old boy: Fellaini is set to play against his former Toffees teammates
 “He’s not had the best of starts, but this is a difficult club to join and settle in right away,” said the United boss.
“It’s a new manager as well, so from that point of view, he can take time to settle in. But he’s a good player and has been for a few years at this level, and I have no doubt he’ll go on to prove it with this club.”
Roberto Martinez, Moyes' successor, had a reputation for pulling off shock wins against big clubs when he was at Wigan, including a 4-0 FA Cup quarter-final victory at Everton last season when the Scot was still in charge.
As such, Moyes knows his successor will not be fazed by Wednesday night’s encounter.
“Everton are in good form,” he said. “They’are in a great league position, good form, they have good players and a good team, so I don’t see any reason why they would change what they’re doing. Roberto’s doing a good job and has been a good choice as manager for Everton.
“I don’t think they’ll do anything different. They have only been beaten in one game this season. I know most of the players. And even the ones Roberto has brought in - James McCarthy and Gareth Barry - we know as well.”
Moyes always felt Everton were just one major signing away from making an assault on the title when he was there and feels they have been buoyed by the arrival of striker Romelu Lukaku on a season-long loan from Chelsea.
 “I think he’s been a really good signing for them,” he said. “Undoubtedly we were always lacking a top finisher who would have cost big money. That was the bit we were missing at Everton over the time.
“We tried to make do with the players we had, but that would have been the missing piece. But Lukaku is an excellent centre-forward who had a good scoring record at West Brom last season and has gone along to Everton this season and done a good job.”

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