English Premiership

Moyes concedes Utd job harder

2014-03-17 09:13
David Moyes (AFP)

Manchester - Manchester United manager David Moyes conceded that he was finding his job harder than he could have ever envisaged after a chastening 3-0 home defeat by bitter rivals Liverpool.

The loss on Sunday was United's ninth of the Premier League campaign - five of which have come at home - and carried echoes of the 4-1 humiliation at Manchester City in September that foreshadowed the club's current struggles.

The defending champions mustered just one shot on target in the entire game, while Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers claimed with some justification that his side "could have scored five or six".

In the end the visitors had to content themselves with a brace of Steven Gerrard penalties and a late Luis Suarez strike.

Gerrard squandered a chance to complete a rare hat-trick of penalties when he sent a third spot-kick against the post, but the scoreline was still enough for United striker Wayne Rooney to brand it "one of the worst days I've ever had in football".

With United 12 points below the Champions League places, having played two more games than fourth-placed City, their hopes of reserving a berth in Europe's premier club competition via the league have been all but dashed.

They also trail Greek champions Olympiakos 2-0 ahead of the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on Wednesday, making their chances of qualifying by winning the tournament appear almost equally remote.

It is only 10 months since Alex Ferguson stepped down as manager after overseeing the club's 20th league title triumph, and Moyes admits that the pace of United's decline has taken him by surprise.

"The job was always going to be hard," he said. "Is it harder than I thought it would be? Yeah, I would say so."

United have beaten only one of the teams currently in the Premier League's top nine - Arsenal, in November - but despite the damning statistical evidence, Moyes played down suggestions of a malaise.

"That tells you we're not doing as well as we should be," he said.

"We have to play better and make ourselves harder to beat, harder to play against, and we are also going to have to make sure we are creating and taking more opportunities."

- Rodgers 'not losing sleep'

He insisted that his players remain "confident" and "hard-working" and said that they would approach the game against Olympiakos at Old Trafford fully believing in their chances of reaching the quarter-finals.

"I think everyone wants to win, no matter what game you play, and give the supporters something to shout about," he said.

Moyes took umbrage with some of referee Mark Clattenburg's decisions and Rodgers conceded that Liverpool's third penalty, awarded for a foul on Daniel Sturridge by Nemanja Vidic, was "harsh".

Vidic was shown a second yellow card and angrily accused Sturridge of taking a dive, but despite Gerrard's subsequent miss, there was no disguising the extent of Liverpool's superiority.

They are now four points behind leaders Chelsea with a game in hand, but Rodgers remains reluctant to talk up his side's title chances.

Asked if he had forbidden talk of the title, he told journalists: "I've not banned it. We have better things to talk about.

"It is about improving and getting better. I don't lose sleep over it. We are up there on merit, so of course we have an opportunity - I didn't say no chance. If you think we have a chance, then write it."

Rodgers also expressed bewilderment at Moyes's pre-match admission that Liverpool were probably the favourites to win the game.

"I was probably surprised when I heard we were supposedly coming to Old Trafford here as favourites," said the Northern Irishman.

"I would never say that at Liverpool, even if I was bottom of the league."

Moyes responded: "I just thought Liverpool were above us in the league and playing well and I thought any average person would have said the same thing."


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

22 October 2016
Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur, Vitality Stadium 13:30
Arsenal v Middlesbrough, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 16:00
Swansea City v Watford, Liberty Stadium 16:00
West Ham United v Sunderland, Olympic Stadium 16:00
Hull City v Stoke City, The KC Stadium 16:00
Burnley v Everton, Turf Moor 16:00
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 18:30
23 October 2016
Manchester City v Southampton, Etihad Stadium 14:30
Chelsea v Manchester United, Stamford Bridge 17:00
29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Will Jose Mourinho lead Manchester United to the English Premiership title in 2016/17?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.