Man Utd V Liverpool at Old Trafford - Match Preview

Moyes didn't expect smooth ride

David Moyes never thought replacing Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager was going to be easy and warned the transition may be a lengthy one.

Sunday's 4-1 defeat at Manchester City has brought an even sharper focus on Moyes than already existed following his appointment as Ferguson's successor in the summer.

Various reasons have been put forward for the scale of United's defeat at the Etihad Stadium, which is terms of its one-sided nature had more in common with the 5-1 drubbing Ferguson's team sustained at City's hands in 1989 rather than the hiding suffered at Old Trafford two years ago, when the visitors scored three in stoppage time.

But it did seem to be the day when long-held reservations about United's squad were exposed.

And Moyes knows the six-year contract he was handed when he left Everton in May took that reshaping into account.

"I don't think it was ever going to be the case this was going to be easy and smooth after Sir Alex," said Moyes.

"There was always going to be days like this and there might well be more days like this.

"I hope not, but there will be because that is football.

"It was always going to be tough following such a great manager with a great team and I think people with real football knowledge will know there are probably some changes to be made.

"It is not going to be made in one fell swoop. It is going to be done in time.

"That is why the Manchester United board realised the job that needed to be done was a long-term one."

It was said to Moyes at various stages of the summer that nothing could quite prepare him for life at United.

That has been brought into sharp focus by the reaction to Sunday's defeat, that has swung sharply between understanding and sympathetic to outright hostility.

"I thought I was (prepared) but obviously when you come here then I realise maybe it wasn't," said Moyes.

"It is a club on its own. It is a fantastic place to work with great players.

"But we have to do well enough to make sure people on the outside think the work we are doing is the right stuff."

Moyes insists he is still enjoying the club and, bizarrely, victory over Liverpool in the Capital One Cup third round at Old Trafford on Wednesday would mean he has enjoyed the best start to his tenure of any United manager since Sir Matt Busby.

Not that there was much consolation to be gained in such spurious facts in the immediate aftermath of the City debacle.

"Yeah, it did," said Moyes, when asked in the manner of defeat had shocked him.

"But when you're a football manager for the length of time I have been you are always going to have shocks."

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers accepts he may have made some unpopular decisions but he insists it is all for the good of the club.

Despite guiding the Reds to the top of the table with a 100 per cent record after three matches his judgement has continued to be questioned in some quarters.

Letting established goalkeeper Jose Reina go out on loan to Napoli this summer was greeted with incredulity by some, although his replacement Simon Mignolet's early performances have gone some way to assuaging doubts.

Only last weekend Rodgers' decision to field four centre-backs in defence in the 1-0 defeat to Southampton was roundly criticised.

But the Northern Irishman insists he is only concerned with the long-term future of the club and will continue to make calls he feels are necessary in order to restore the Reds back into Europe's elite.

"I know I can sleep at night knowing I will do the very best for the supporters and the club," he told talkSPORT.

"Sometimes, especially at the beginning of something which is delicate and difficult, you'll make decisions which maybe are unpopular.

"But I want to be the one who steers the club back in the direction it should be going in and that is not easy."

While some of his other decisions may have been questioned the stance Rodgers took over Luis Suarez this summer, with the player openly criticising his manager and the club for reneging on a deal to allow him to leave for a Champions League side, was praised.

Rodgers will be looking for some sort of payback from the 26-year-old on his return to the side in the Capital One Cup against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

"Now he comes back we are getting a B#50-60million striker back in the team and that is exciting for us," he added.

Liverpool missed the creativity of injured playmaker Philippe Coutinho at the weekend after the 21-year-old underwent surgery on a shoulder problem. He is unlikely to be fit again until the end of October.

Source: PA

Source: PA