Moyes backs AVB to see Spurs right

The Manchester United boss has taken plenty of flak since replacing Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer and, in his own words, knows he will probably need to take a few more blows as he beds himself into life at Old Trafford.

This week Andre Villas-Boas has been in the line of fire.

Despite spending £108million on new players this summer, Spurs have not achieved the results anticipated and host United this weekend.

Sunday's 6-0 defeat at Manchester City was their worst result in almost two decades and was branded "embarrassing" by Villas-Boas.

Little wonder some are questioning how long the former Chelsea boss will remain in his job.

Moyes does not believe it should even be a debating point.

But he accepts football management is no place for anyone hoping for an easy life.

"When you enter the football management business you expect it," said Moyes.

"Sir Alex (Ferguson) was so successful because he won more than most. But there is no way you can win all the time. It is impossible.

"There are always going to be down days in football. You have to be able to deal with them and work through them.

"I am sure Andre will do it because he is a good coach."

Tottenham are only a point behind United ahead of Sunday's meeting. They are also still in both domestic cup competitions and are already through to the knockout stages of the Europa League, so it could hardly be described as a disastrous season.

Certainly Moyes does not view Villas-Boas being under any significant pressure.

"Tottenham are not that far away," he said.

"Sometimes people can get a little bit ahead of themselves.

"Personally I don't see him being under pressure but maybe that is for other people to say."

Moyes is particularly wary of saying Tottenham's confidence may be fragile on the back of their heavy loss at the Etihad Stadium.

"No matter when you play Tottenham Hotspur, it will always be a hard game," he said.

"The matches against Manchester United have been good.

"After a result like they had last week, the reaction can vary. We are both coming off the back of European games as well.

"The main thing for us is to try and win the game."

Europe has been a stimulating experience for United, who bounced back from the concession of a last-minute equaliser at Cardiff on Sunday by battering Bayer Leverkusen to reach the Champions League knockout phase.

Their 5-0 win was their biggest away from home in European competition since the Matt Busby era and the margin of their success has been exceeded only once on their continental travels in United's entire history.

It has set a benchmark Moyes wants his team to match more often.

"It is a starting point," said Moyes.

"We have seen a standard which is probably better than what we have shown in most other games this season.

"We have to play like that more often and more consistently."

In stating skipper Nemanja Vidic and star striker Robin van Persie "have a chance" of being fit, Moyes may be opening up the potential for an intriguing selection dilemma.

Conventional wisdom would be to avoid changing a winning team.

Yet Vidic and Van Persie would be regarded as central components of Moyes' first-choice XI, whilst Marouane Fellaini is available again after suspension.

Source: PA

Source: PA