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Moyes seeks better luck against Swansea

Updated: 2014-01-10 08:10
By Reuters in London ( China Daily)

The threat of a fourth consecutive defeat is looming large for Manchester United and manager David Moyes, yet the beleaguered Scot feels things are on the verge of turning for his struggling team.

Swansea City returns to Old Trafford for the second time in a week on Saturday, buoyed by its victory at the same ground in the FA Cup third round and no doubt encouraged for another assault by its opponent's ongoing problems.

Sunderland became the latest club to upset Moyes' team ,in the first leg of its League Cup semifinal on Tuesday, marking the first time since 1932 United had lost its first three games of the year.

The two cup defeats followed a stinging home reverse in the league against Tottenham Hotspur that left United seventh in the standings, 11 points behind leader Arsenal.

Yet Moyes, hand-picked by predecessor Alex Ferguson and given the security of a six-year contract, is not panicking.

"I've been here before and done it before," Moyes said on the club website.

"I just sense that it's on the verge of turning, we're about to get a bit better.

"You need a little bit of good fortune to go for you, and it looks as if we're not getting enough of that at the moment.

"But I can sense in the dressing room that there's an urge to fight our current position."

United fans booed the club off the pitch following its cup loss to Swansea, but it was a different story at the Stadium of Light, where it made an effort to rally behind Moyes' cause, singing his name despite the team's limp performance.

Moyes described the support as "exceptional", but is well aware soccer is a results business and those in the boardroom as well as on the terraces will soon start demanding an upturn in fortunes.

"If you are going to be in this job you have got to win, and the last few games I've not won," he said.

"It's part of football management. It's never going to be an easy ride. To be the manager of Manchester United is a big challenge, whether it's on the back of wins or defeats."

One thing in Moyes's favor is the congested Premier League standings where, despite United's poor form, it remains only five points off fourth place and the final Champions League qualification spot.

All the top four play away from home this week and the Premier League lead could change hands three times over the weekend.

Third-place Chelsea can stake an early claim on the summit when it kicks off the action at Hull City on Saturday before second-place Manchester City, which crushed West Ham 6-0 in its League Cup semifinal first leg on Wednesday, travel to Newcastle United on Sunday.

Leader Arsenal, which is two points ahead of Chelsea and one up on City, visits Aston Villa on Monday.

(China Daily 01/10/2014 page23)