Manchester United problems could be caused by David Moyes 'rotating too much' claims Shakhtar Donetsk manager

Ahead of Wednesday's Champions League meeting in Ukraine, the methods of the under-pressure United manager come into question

Donetsk

Shakhtar Donetsk manager Mircea Lucescu declared today ahead of his club’s Champions League tie against Manchester United that David Moyes is creating problems by tinkering with his team, who are not the trophy-winning machine they were 15 years ago.

The vastly experienced 68-year-old Romanian coach will take charge of his 109th Champions league game tomorrow night while Moyes will be managing his fourth. He said that Sir Alex Ferguson's successor must be given time because "there will always be a change of philosophy under a new coach." But Lucescu broke into English at his press conference to reinforce his belief that it can be damaging to change a side between games, as Moyes has done in his struggle to find the right recipe. "I think turnover can cause a lot of problems sometimes," he said, having declared in Romanian that the Ukrainian side had noticed that Moyes was rotating. There were eight changes to United's starting XI between the Manchester Derby and the League Cup win over Liverpool, with a further seven for the weekend defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

"Maybe we can see four or five new players and maybe the links between the players are not that good but maybe we are facing the same problems here," Lucescu said. "The other big teams in the [English] championship don't rotate as much as Manchester United and maybe that is why they don't play with the same skill."

Donetsk are by no means an insuperable force for United to face, despite the fact that a draw here would represent a good result for United in possibly the toughest game of Group A, at a time when Moyes' charges are reeling under their worst domestic start since 1989. The Ukrainian side have suffered their most disappointing start in five years and Lucescu publicly rued the loss of Willlian, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Fernandino to Anzhi, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City in the past 18 months. "It's a different team now. It is one thing to lose one player and another to lose a group of players. We have lost a group of players," he said.

But United have struggled against fast attacking sides - "It is quite difficult to find a Shaktar-style team in the Premier league," Lucescu said - and the manager observed that it would take time for Ferguson's successor to adapt to his new role. "Of course we know the work of Moyes, especially at  Everton, and we know this is one of the strongest English coaches. He needs time to share ideas with the players. Ancelotti has needed some time taking over from Mourinho [at Real Madrid]. [Manuel] Pellegrini [at Manchester City] is the same. Let's hope they find it but after tomorrow."

Lucescu said he had faced Ferguson when Inter Milan manager, 14 years ago, in the Champions League quarter final which saw United win 2-0 at Old Trafford and progress with a 1-1 draw at San Siro, in the year they beat Bayern Munich in the final. "I've very good memories of this game and United played well that time," said the manager, who revealed that his striker Luis Adriano has shrugged off a hip injury to be in contention to start tomorrow night.

"That was a machine for winning trophies and it was an English team," Lucescu observed. "Now it's more international and harder to compare. Football is now more intense. They had great player likes Giggs and Beckham in Manchester 15 years ago and played and won against the likes of Juventus, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich."

Lucescu warned that there would be a "cauldron" awaiting the Premier League Champions - and the 52,000-capacity Donbass Arena is sold out. "Champions League games are always a kind of celebration or holiday for our city and we expecting this to be a joy," he said. "Since I've been manager [here] I've not played against four top European teams - Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Liverpool. Well, tomorrow we face Manchester United and let's hope we continue our path in the Champions League and play against the top teams. Our players must be very determined."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific