Keep the faith, pleads embattled David Moyes
Manchester United manager heads into clash at Arsenal desperate for a win
Manchester United manager David Moyes vowed that his struggling team’s fortunes will improve if they keep faith with their current methods.
United head into Wednesday’s Premier League match at Arsenal having lost five of their nine matches since the turn of the year.
The 2-2 draw at home to Fulham on Sunday, in a game that United dominated, left the champions seventh in the table, nine points off fourth place and 15 points below leaders Chelsea.
Moyes defended his side’s tactics against bottom-of-the-table Fulham and expressed certainty that United’s luck would turn.
“Football does that sometimes and we have to make sure it doesn’t happen too often, but I do think there have been a few twists this season and hopefully we’ll get them back in the future,” he said.
“You just continue doing the right things. We’re doing the right things, we need to keep going and your luck will change, there’s no doubt about that.”
Moyes also dismissed suggestions that defender Rio Ferdinand would not travel to a training camp in Dubai later this week, amid claims in the British media that the 35-year-old centre-back is due to announce his retirement.
Ferdinand’s contract expires at the end of the season, but Moyes said that the rumours about his future were wide of the mark.
“I can only tell you that what was written was a load of rubbish, complete nonsense,” the former Everton manager said during a brief press conference at United’s Carrington training complex.
“We’ve got a chance to have a few days off and we’ll see. We’ve got a big Champions League game [away to Olympiakos] coming up in just over a week’s time.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has described his side’s 5-1 thrashing at Liverpool as an “accident” and encouraged his players to respond by beating United.
“It is always a disappointment to lose a game, but I think it was an accident because we have been very stable defensively and we have to treat it like that,” the Frenchman said.
“We have just been on a 10-game unbeaten run. You cannot consider one game as the trend, the pattern of our season.
“It is an accident, not a welcome [one] of course – a very disappointing one – but a successful season is decided by how you respond to that.”
Wenger spoke out in defence of record signing Mesut Ozil, who produced an anonymous performance at Liverpool that was in keeping with some below-par recent displays.
“He didn’t have the best of games on Saturday, but that can happen,” Wenger said of the Germany star.
“He works very hard to adapt to the physical level of the Premier League and for me he is an exceptional player. I wouldn’t like to put too much pressure on him because he has been a top-class player until now.
“He knows when he is not good enough he will get questioned. That is normal.”