Manchester United v Liverpool: David Moyes warns there could be 'more blows' for squad that is in need of reinforcements

United manager admits he needs 'one or two' more elite players to add to team that won 'poor' league last term

David Moyes has admitted he may have to suffer "many more blows" this season as he takes control of a Manchester United squad he believes needs two more elite players to win trophies, having won a poor Premier League last season.

In a brutally honest assessment of the squad that was torn apart by Manchester City at the weekend, Moyes said that the poor form of other sides in the Premier League race, which United won by 11 points in May, had contributed to the mistaken impression that the job he took on was ready-made for him. Moyes did not go so far as to suggest that United's 20th title flattered them but the fact he felt forced to play Michael Carrick in midfield at the Etihad on Sunday, despite the player suffering flu, provides an insight into the strictures he feels he has.

Moyes said ahead of another forbidding clash, against Liverpool in Wednesday night's Capital One Cup third round, that "a lot of people" thought the title race was only about Manchester United last season. But "it was probably the [form] of other teams that were poor," he said. Moyes does not feel he is short of squad players but is in need of "one or two" players who can go straight into his starting XI, during the first transfer market he will have a genuine run at, in January. United are ready to go back for Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera.

Moyes refused to discuss the claims from Real Madrid president Fiorentino Perez that United had also been in the hunt for Gareth Bale, as The Independent reported last month.

"I don't think it's actually the squad," Moyes said. "I think we've got numbers. I think maybe where we've got work to do is bring players in… to go right into the team – so that's the slightly different equation. We needed one or two who might have just gone in [to the team]. But that will happen. But going back to that [summer] transfer window, we always said it was going to be a tough one and it was going to take a little bit more time."

Moyes clearly feels he is short of game-changing players in midfield. The fact that he preferred an ill Carrick to Tom Cleverley and Anderson says most about the latter two, while Shinji Kagawa and Luis Nani – who might get an opportunity at Old Trafford tonight – are seemingly individuals in whom he does not yet have faith.

Moyes picked Michael Carrick (centre) in Sunday’s derby even though he was suffering from flu (Getty) Moyes picked Michael Carrick (centre) in Sunday’s derby even though he was suffering from flu (Getty)  

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers pointed out that United are the champions, advancing an argument which undermined Moyes's own defence. "They've got the squad there and bought more players. It's still a champion squad so I'm sure he is looking to make his own mark on it," he said.

But Moyes insisted there may be more punishment to follow Sunday's 4-1 defeat to City. "Yes, it does mean I may have to take a few more blows, definitely," he said. "Maybe even more than that. Maybe all season I have to take a few blows. But I knew this was going to be the case because I was taking over from a great manager and it was always going to take time for me to get my own ways and change things round a little bit. It doesn't mean big jobs but there are some things … So we have to make sure we are right and get ready for the next game."

Though many managers would not have appeared to discuss a League Cup fixture on the back of a defeat like Sunday's – Sir Alex Ferguson did not consent to press conferences for such occasions – it was a sign of Moyes' resolve that he did so. There were signs when he spoke before the television cameras that he has absorbed the welter of criticism that has come his way in the past four days. Asked if he had seen a reaction from his players in training, he replied testily: "It doesn't really matter whether I've seen it or not… it's what you people see..."

There was a sense that Moyes feels that his own methods – which include a more intensive training ground regime – need time to take hold. To the question of whether he has felt the need to change anything since Sunday, he said: "No. Because if we did, then it would mean there are things we aren't doing right in the first place. When you've got the players we have got I can see it's written all over their face how they feel. And when you've got ones like that you hope there will be a reaction and I'm sure there will be."

Attempts to ask Moyes specifically about Ashley Young, whose poor performance against City compounded a dreadful start to the new era at Old Trafford for the 28-year-old were cut short by his press secretary, though the manager said it would take some players time to adapt to new methods and a new regime. "I've taken the punches and I'm happy to do that," said Moyes – who revealed that the groin strain which kept Robin van Persie out of Sunday's side also makes him a doubt for Saturday's Premier League encounter at home to West Bromwich Albion.

"Not for a minute did I think this Manchester United job was going to be an easy job. There will be days like we had on Sunday and there might be more of them because we are in a period where there will be transition. We looked quite easy to play against which is not the norm for Manchester United."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?