Moyes "more driven" by dissent
Published 28/03/2014 | 18:47
Two banners will be flown over Old Trafford on Saturday as David Moyes braces himself for the first real show of dissent towards his rule as Manchester United manager.
A group of disgruntled United fans have clubbed together £840 to pay for a banner reading 'Wrong One - Moyes Out' to be flown above Old Trafford in the build-up to United's lunch-time kick-off against Aston Villa.
The message mocks a banner in the Stretford End which proclaims Moyes as 'The Chosen One' - a reference to the fact that Sir Alex Ferguson hand-picked Moyes to be his successor last summer.
The saga took another twist on Friday after it emerged that another banner, trailed from a different plane, will be flown over the stadium at the same time.
Press Association Sport understands that a high-street bookmaker is behind the second banner.
The bookmaker is refusing to reveal the message their plane will drag across the skies, but it is understood to not be favourable towards Moyes.
If those fans who paid for the fly-by thought their stunt would push Moyes towards resignation, they were wrong.
"All it has done is strengthened my resolve to get the job done right," a defiant United manager said at his pre-match press conference on Friday.
"I'm more driven to succeed than ever.
"I want to change the position we're in just now. I really do believe we can do that."
Moyes refused the opportunity to criticise the fans who have planned the 'Moyes Out' stunt.
"I've heard of it and what they're saying about it," he said.
"It's a long journey here and this is just the start of the journey."
How long United fans stay committed to backing Moyes on his "journey" remains to be seen.
There was a whiff of dissent in the air on Tuesday night towards the end of United's miserable 3-0 derby defeat to Manchester City.
One fan had to be escorted from the South Stand after he approached the dugout to vent his anger at the manager.
The Chosen One banner had to be guarded by security men, who feared it may be ripped down.
And even Ferguson received abuse for installing Moyes as he sat in the directors' box.
It was an unsavoury night for Moyes, but he says he has since received messages of support from the United faithful.
"Everywhere I go, I get great support from Manchester United supporters," Moyes said.
"I went to dinner last night for Darren Fletcher and (some fans) came up to me and said: 'keep going, we understand exactly the situation the club and the team is in'.
"They were really supportive and every time I've gone to Old Trafford, the crowd have been great.
"I'm seeing it different to what a lot of people are seeing."
"I'm witnessing great support."
On the evidence of the defeats against Liverpool and Manchester City, though, that support has been for the club and not for Moyes.
The oft-heard "Come on David Moyes" song has disappeared from the repertoire of the singing section inside Old Trafford of late.
Moyes is no fool. He knows open revolt from the fans inside Old Trafford will come if results do not improve soon.
It is surprising that United fans have stuck with Moyes up to this point given the number of unwanted records he keeps breaking.
The City loss means United will end the season with their lowest points total in Premier League history.
Six home defeats is the worst record of any United side in the last 36 years.
But as many have noted in the last few weeks, the United squad he inherited is hardly one of the greatest in recent memory and Moyes says he needs time and money to rebuild it.
The Scot is sure he will be given time to complete that mission regardless of recent poor results.
"Sir Alex and the board saw fit to give me the job. They felt I was the right man for the job and not for a minute have they seen any different," Moyes said.
"They knew it was a long-term job and I am a manager who would probably see himself in medium to long term. I rebuilt teams right from when I started at Everton. That is my style.
"I think my style is exactly what Manchester United needed and still need.
"People need to understand that it's not just going to happen overnight."
There have been suggestions this week that some United players have become disgruntled with Moyes' training methods.
But when asked whether he retained the support of the playing staff, Moyes said: "Definitely. I've got no reason to suggest anything else.
"They're great, they train great, we work well together, we have a great relationship."