Sports / Soccer

Moyes to focus on rebuilding

By Reuters in Munich (China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-11 07:10

David Moyes said his focus was on building a team to get Manchester United back in the Champions League after it lost to Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, all but ending its hopes of playing in next season's competition.

After a dismal domestic campaign by its lofty standards - United sits seventh in the Premier League, seven points behind fourth-placed Arsenal - its last realistic chance of qualifying for next season's Champions League rested on winning the competition.

Should it fail to qualify, it will be the first time in 18 seasons in which it has not had a place in Europe's premier competition and Moyes hopes its hiatus can be limited to one season.

"We have got to get Champions League football," Moyes told Sky Sports after a 3-1 second-leg defeat knocked United out 4-2 on aggregate. "That is the way it looks but I believe it is not far away.

"It will hopefully only be one year the way we hope to rebuild. The focus now is on getting a team that can get us back in this competition because we have really enjoyed it."

United briefly looked like it was going to cause an upset after Patrice Evra blasted it in front in the 57th minute.

Moyes to focus on rebuilding

That lead lasted for just one minute as holder Bayern equalized through Mario Mandzukic before Thomas Mueller and Arjen Robben sealed the win.

Moyes praised his team's efforts but was quick to shift the focus back to the job at hand.

"We will regroup and we will start building towards being in this competition again," the Scot said. "My job is just to get on and do the job. My focus is on getting a side that gets us back in the Champions league and that is going to be our objective now."

Alex Ferguson's successor took over an ageing squad at the start of the campaign and a major overhaul appears his priority.

United failed to sign a number of transfer targets last summer, including Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas, and the lack of European soccer and a perception the club is heading in the wrong direction could make it difficult for Moyes to attract the caliber of players required.

However, the 50-year-old was adamant luring players to Old Trafford would not be an issue.

"That has never been a question. We are looking to spend the right money on the right players if they are available.

"Any players that I have quietly had discussions with would be happy to join Manchester United.

"There are those who quietly want to come because they know it (rebuilding) is a short thing, not a long thing. They are all very keen to join such a great club."

 Moyes to focus on rebuilding

Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic climbs on top of Bayern's Mario Mandzukic during the Champions League quarterfinal second-leg match in the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, on Wednesday. Bayern won 3-1 and advanced to the semifinals 4-2 on aggregate. Matthias Schrader / Associated Press

(China Daily 04/11/2014 page23)

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