Champions League

Moyes pledges to uphold tradition

Rio Ferdinand and David Moyes (R) speak before the Bayer Leverkusen game.
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David Moyes has vowed to uphold Manchester United's fine European traditions.

When Moyes succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson as United boss he was taking control of a club for whom Europe is of special significance.

Three times winners of the Champions League in its different guises, United were also England's first entrants into the competition and, two years later, suffered the tragedy that left a permanent scar on the club at Munich.

It is this past Moyes must live up to, and Sir Bobby Charlton reinforced on a visit to the Scot's office at the Aon Training Complex this summer.

"It was really important moment for me when Sir Bobby said he wanted to see me in my office," he said ahead of tonight's opening group encounter with Bayer Leverkusen at Old Trafford.

"Everybody, when they see Bobby Charlton, is in awe of him.

"He was an incredibly humble man and he explained what it is like to be at Manchester United and what a Manchester United manager should be like.

"I will keep what he said to myself but there is a way to do things at this club. I understand that and I will try to uphold those traditions."

Amazingly, Moyes walks into a woeful European home record.

The Red Devils have lost four of their last six games at Old Trafford, most recently that controversial defeat to Real Madrid.

"I have been to Old Trafford for the Champions League games and I am always amazed by the atmosphere," he said.

"With the crowd, under the lights I am hoping that alone will give the supporters something to shout about it.

"The players are already motivated because of the level of game it is and the competition it is. We will go in there and try and put on a good show and try and improve on that record."

Wayne Rooney is expected to start, although Moyes revealed the striker will require the special headband he wore on Saturday.

Rafael and Phil Jones also trained to varying degrees, as did Shinji Kagawa, although he is yet to fully shake off the flu virus that kept him out of the weekend win over Crystal Palace.

One player who will definitely be absent is Adnan Januzaj, the 18-year-old Belgian who made such an eye-catching debut against Palace.

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Moyes confirmed that the complicated UEFA eligibility criteria means if United wait to register him until October 7, by which time he will have been with the Red Devils for two years, he can go on the B list of youth players.

It means Januzaj will sit out both the Leverkusen game and the trip to Shakhtar Donetsk next month.

Evidently though, the winger has a bright future, with Moyes confirming he expects Januzaj to sign a long-term extension at some point in the future.

"I am confident he will sign a new contract," said Moyes.

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