Moyes: Some criticism has been unfair
Manchester United manager David Moyes has no problem with justified criticism - but feels some of the flak his team has received this season was undeserved.
After a tough week, in which United have mixed the emotional high of beating Liverpool 1-0 with the shattering low of losing 4-1 to Manchester City, Moyes sends his team into combat with West Brom on Saturday at the start of a winnable sequence of fixtures.
Though Moyes would doubtless argue there is no such thing as an easy game, he cannot be expecting the same screaming headlines and forensic analysis that accompanied that catastrophic defeat at the Etihad Stadium.
That, using Moyes' own terminology, was one of those days when it is best to close the curtains and pull a blanket over your head; when all the brickbats hurled in United's direction were warranted.
However, there have been occasions this season when he did not feel the condemnation was fair.
"If people judge me at Manchester United on how we do I can't argue," he said. "If criticism is for the team not playing well, like we did at Manchester City, it is totally deserved. But in some cases we have done okay this year and people have chosen to do that. They tell me that is a trait at Manchester United."
'They' in this case may well be Sir Alex Ferguson, who had a less than positive view of the people paid to pass judgement on United's performances.
On some occasion though, there can be no dispute. And Sunday was one of them.
"It didn't feel good after we lost to Manchester City," said Moyes. "You wouldn't expect me to feel good and I don't think anyone would want me to feel good either after the way we played. There was a level from Manchester City that I hadn't seen. I don't think many people had. That is no reason. On the day we had too many players who had a complete off day. Because of that it gave us no chance of winning."
And that feeling of desolation gets no better with age, even if the recovery period is somewhat shorter.
"I am quite experienced in the Premier League," said Moyes. "I have managed a lot of games in my time. As you get older you understand how bad it feels when you lose a game. You go home and pull the curtains and put the blankets over your head. You don't want to come out. By the time the next morning comes you know you have to get back on the training field, doing the work and preparing for the next game."
United got the recovery process started through Javier Hernandez's match-winner on Wednesday.
It is clear though, the entire operation Moyes has been brought in to complete is going to take some considerable time.
Indeed, it reminds him of the position he found himself in at Everton upon his arrival from Preston 11 years ago.
"I really feel as if I am going back 10 years," he said. "I can remember when I first took the Everton job, it was difficult. I had a really senior group of players. I knew I was going to have to change the squad round and it was going to take me time.
"How was I going to win games whilst I was changing it round? How were people going to see that it was going in the right direction? I might be talking about the same thing now really. You can never ask for time, especially now. You just hope people who understand football understand the job and what it takes and the person I am following here. That wouldn't have been easy for anyone."
Moyes should be boosted by the return of Robin van Persie, who has recovered from a groin injury that has kept him out of United's last two games.
In addition, England midfielder Tom Cleverley is back after suffering a knee injury in training prior to the Liverpool encounter.