Manchester United news

David Moyes hits back at critics

February 12, 2014
By ESPN staff

David Moyes insisted the rebuilding job at Manchester United was “always going to take time” as he sniped at the media for persistent criticism.

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Ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Arsenal, Moyes gave little away during the broadcast segment of his prematch news conference -- which lasted less than three minutes -- other than dismissing a report that Rio Ferdinand would not join their training camp as “a load of rubbish.”

He spoke at greater length to the newspapers but 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 the Premier League’s bottom side at Old Trafford drew inevitable criticism across the media, with their heavy reliance 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.

Asked about the subject at his news conference, Moyes said: “Yeah, well, I thought only one team came to win, but you [the 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.”

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.

“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.”

Former United midfielder Roy Keane has 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.

“I was given a six-year contract,” he said. “Things were always going to take time. There has been rebuilding going on here year after year and we'll continue to do that.”

He added: “Anybody who knows and understands football knew that changes had to be made. Anybody who watched the game the other day and didn't think we deserved to win by a hundred miles knows nothing about it.

“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.”

Meanwhile, 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.

However, United have already confirmed that the price of season tickets has been frozen for a fifth successive year.

Confirming the season ticket news, the club said: “It has been a testing time so far for the Reds this season, but the fans' passion has been unwavering as the Reds look to rebuild under David Moyes.”

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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