Skip to main content

David Moyes: Manchester United 'desperate' to reverse fortunes

March 17, 2014 -- Updated 2112 GMT (0512 HKT)
Manchester United manager David Moyes is under the spotlight even more after his team lost to Liverpool on Sunday.
Manchester United manager David Moyes is under the spotlight even more after his team lost to Liverpool on Sunday.
  • David Moyes says his slumping team is "desperate" to turn things around
  • Man United's loss to Liverpool leaves the club 12 points behind a Champions League spot
  • United must also overturn a 2-0 deficit against Olympiakos to advance in Europe
  • United has never lost a home game to Greek opposition in the Champions League

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Manchester United manager David Moyes says he and his slumping team are "desperate" to turn things around -- and hopes the reversal of fortune begins in the Champions League.

The defending Premier League champion didn't lose any ground in the title race -- although repeating was already looking unlikely -- but the Red Devils did slip 12 points behind a Champions League spot after the most recent round of games last weekend.

And United wasn't just beaten on Sunday. It was outclassed by arch-rival Liverpool at Old Trafford, 3-0.

While Liverpool routinely threatened thanks to the likes of in-form pair Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, United's high-profile duo of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie were never a problem for the Reds' sometimes shaky defense.

With Liverpool controlling the midfield, United struggled to gain a foothold and managed just one shot on target.

"The players are capable of turning it around," Moyes was quoted as saying by Manchester United's website. "We're all desperate to put things right and make sure we play better to give the supporters here something to shout about."

The manner of the defeat piled more pressure on Moyes, who is in his first season at the helm at Manchester United after replacing managerial great Alex Ferguson.

Former Liverpool defender Alan Hansen said Moyes is "fighting for his future" and that if United exited the Champions League against Olympiacos and then lost to Manchester City in the league, "there will be serious doubts over whether Moyes can continue."

According to British bookmaker William Hill, Moyes is the joint third favorite -- behind West Bromwich Albion's Pepe Mel and Norwich's Chris Hughton -- to become the next Premier League manager to depart. West Bromwich Albion and Norwich are struggling near the relegation zone although West Brom won Saturday at Swansea.

Manchester United faces an uphill battle to reach the last eight of this season's Champions League after a 2-0 reverse in Greece: Only once has the team lost a first leg in the competition and advanced -- in 2006/2007 against Roma.

But Olympiacos has lost all 11 of its previous encounters in England and United has won all of its home games versus Greek opposition.

Given United's position in the Premier League, winning the Champions League might be its most feasible path to appearing in next season's competition. United last failed to compete in the Champions League in 1995/1996.

"We have to go for the throat to get the win," said Moyes. "We won't be gung-ho but we will certainly go with a mindset to overhaul the deficit as quickly as we can.

"We won't be reckless as we could find ourselves with a bigger mountain to climb but we can be forceful. We have to be if we're to keep ourselves in the Champions League."

The storm will pass and the sun will rise again
Juan Mata

United midfielder Juan Mata, bought in the January transfer window for a club record $61 million, said United's pedigree in Europe -- it has amassed three titles in Europe's top club competition while Olympiacos has yet to make the semifinals -- could be a factor.

"Everything went bad (against Liverpool)," Mata wrote in his blog. "It was a tough defeat and I want to tell you that we will give everything we have in order to forget about this in the remaining games. And there is a very important one around the corner.

"We know the history of this club and its achievements, based on a winning spirit. That is what we need to beat Olympiacos and get through in the Champions League.

"The storm will pass and the sun will rise again," the cup-tied Spaniard also said. "I have no doubt. Besides, no one said this would be easy."

Part of complete coverage on
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1858 GMT (0258 HKT)
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1012 GMT (1812 HKT)
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT)
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.