Manchester United manager David Moyes said today that FA Cup replays would need to be axed and the League Cup limited to create space for the Qatar World Cup in 2022 which he believes must now be staged in the winter.
Moyes, who significantly moved away from his recent narrative about United being several world class players short during his discussion of tomorrow's Premier League match at Sunderland, said he believed January would need to be World Cup month and that he expected the Premier League would already be planning for that.
"I think it would need to alter things in the year before and the year after, certainly, [too]," Moyes said. "I think there will be no choice but the World Cup will have to move. But I'm sure that the Premier League are already starting work on that and thinking about it but it does look as though it's going to have to be changed."
He did not seem concerned by the disruption this might cause. "It could be the equivalent of having a winter break so if they take the month in January it would obviously extend things and there will be lots of different things and add-ons to consider. I'm sure the people in power will make those decisions and try to make the right decisions."
Anything less than a win at bottom club Sunderland would intensify the spotlight on Moyes after his challenging start at Old Trafford. The manager, who said that he had not yet assessed whether Wayne Rooney has recovered from a cracked shin to play, said the players knew the standards they had to maintain.
"They're all really good players, that's why [they'll take responsibility], and they know the standards they have set over the years and together we will work to get it right; I've got no doubt about that. Anybody who comes into a new job you learn as you get on, as you go, and I'm doing that as well. But I already knew I was coming in to a group of really good players but it will also have difficult times as well."
He said a sense of perspective was needed about United's poorest start to a campaign since 1989, which leaves them 12th, eight points behind top club Arsenal in the early running. "There's a long way to go in the Premier League. It's a long season and you see great changes as you go on. We want to get ourselves as close to the top as soon as we can."
Of Sir Alex Ferguson's positive comments about him in midweek, Moyes said: "I think it's a good club. I'm sure they know they have picked the right man for the job. Sir Alex was part of that process as well."