Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

A Major Plus as Moyes Revels in Fringe Benefits

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

A Major Plus as Moyes Revels in Fringe Benefits

Article excerpt

DAVID Moyes says he needs two new players to go straight into his team.

Last night he discovered that there are already those within his squad ready to stake their claim for the job.

A 1-0 win over Liverpool was the perfect way for those who have found themselves on the fringes to make a point and seize their manager's attention.

Of course, this was Liverpool, not City - but Brendan Rodgers played his strongest hand, including Luis Suarez, in a bid to kick United while they are down.

For Moyes - who made eight changes from the derby - it was at last a victory against one of his major rivals, no matter what the competition.

A result that was vital in the context of what happened on Sunday, it provided the manager with a much-needed injection of confidence.

It will also have given him much to digest moving forward - challenging his early assessment of what he considers to be his strongest team.

He is still learning how to cope with the squad of the size and quality that he inherited at Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson had become a master of knowing exactly when to tinker with his selections.

It is how he managed to lead arguably one of his weakest groups of players to last season's Premier League title with an 11-point advantage over the team that put four past Moyes' men at the Etihad.

It is one of the key differences between managing a team that challenges for every major honour and one that punches above its weight.

For instance, it is impossible to imagine Ferguson starting with Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic in every game before last night.

But a daunting fixture list at the start of the campaign convinced the new United manager to err on the side of caution.

In the face of games against Chelsea, Liverpool and City in the opening weeks of the campaign, conservatism has won out.

Or not as the case may be. Against City it failed in spectacular fashion. …

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