Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Moyes Is out to Bag a Capital Dividend ; the League Cup May Not Always Have Been Top of United Priority List but the Reds Manager Is Not Underestimating the Importance of Achieving Success in the Competition

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Moyes Is out to Bag a Capital Dividend ; the League Cup May Not Always Have Been Top of United Priority List but the Reds Manager Is Not Underestimating the Importance of Achieving Success in the Competition

Article excerpt

DAVID Moyes didn't get the chance to expand on the importance of the Capital One Cup before being whisked away from his post-match press duties early Saturday evening.

But the continued uncertainty over United's form this season makes tonight's fourth-round tie with Norwich much more significant than it might once have been.

There is no disguising the fact that the League Cup, in all its guises, has long been a distant fourth on United's list of priorities.

Moyes didn't arrive at Old Trafford in the summer with dreams of lifting a trophy won by Swansea and Birmingham in two of the last three seasons.

In the past two years the final has included teams from outside of the Premier League - and in 2011, Birmingham went on to be relegated following victory over Arsenal.

Sir Alex Ferguson was accused of devaluing the competition when opting to use it to blood emerging talent when the Champions League demanded his focus - yet he also appreciated its value.

Not least in those fallow seasons of 2005 and 2006 when the League Cup provided evidence of a bold new era at Old Trafford. In his recent autobiography Ferguson explains how he was keen to introduce Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra as late substitutes in the 4-0 victory over Wigan at Wembley to give them a taste of success.

For those two players it was something of an appetiser before the feast of Premier Leagues and Champions League finals that lay ahead.

"I remember saying to the boss when we got on the bus after the final, 'This is fantastic, after two months, I've won a trophy!'" said Evra ahead of tonight's match.

"I remember that moment well and that first trophy is always so important for you as a player.

"It doesn't matter if it's the Community Shield, the League Cup or something else. From that day you start to be a winner. You want to win more. You are hungry for more. That was a very important trophy for us. We went on to win many more after that one."

For long periods against Stoke on Saturday, Norwich loomed large.

It would be impossible to shake the sense of crisis had United succumbed to a fourth Premier League defeat in nine games.

The potential of elimination from a first cup competition would have only intensified the developing scrutiny of Moyes' early days in charge. …

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