Manchester United 3 Olympiakos 0: David Moyes insists Champions League exit would not have 'determined future'

'People will see this as a turning point in my career' says United manager

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The Independent Football

David Moyes denied Robin van Persie’s hat-trick that took Manchester United dramatically through to the quarter-finals of the  Champions League had saved his job.

The United manager, under intense pressure following a 2-0 first-leg defeat to Olympiakos and an abject surrender against Liverpool, said he was confident that even had they gone out, he would have been given time.

“People will see this as a turning point in my career,” he said following the 3-0 win, where he punched the air and saluted the Stretford End on the final whistle. “But I don’t see it like that all. I see myself at Manchester United for a very long time. This is a big job and there are a lot of things I want to do. The one thing the players did show tonight is a great big heart.

“I don’t feel any pressure from inside the club. The pressure has come from the media. I know the job I have to do. It is a big one and maybe harder than I first expected when I came in.”

Moyes acknowledged there have been many false “turning points” in what has still been a dismal season. The 5-0 triumph at Bayer Leverkusen and the victory over Arsenal in November were not followed up. On Tuesday they face Manchester City here.

“I would love to say yes, this has been a turning point,” said Moyes. “But I know we have got a lot to do. But we are still in the Champions League. We know it is going to be a struggle to win it but there are some great teams in it and we look forward to the draw.”

The only minus was the sight of Van Persie being taken off on a stretcher moments from the end, although his manager suggested he might be fit for the Manchester derby. “It does not look that bad,” he said. “It is a knock on the back of his knee.”

A highly-charged night featured an exceptional display from the 40-year-old figure of Ryan Giggs, a man with whom Moyes was supposed to have fallen out. “I keep hearing I have fallen out with this player or that player,” Moyes said. “It is rubbish. People are trying to look for reasons why we have done badly. The reasons are we have not played well enough.”