David Moyes suffers fourth Premier League defeat - but how did other Manchester United managers start?

Everton inflicted a painful defeat on United last night that saw the champions lose more ground in the title race

Manchester United's defeat to Everton on Wednesday increased the pressure on Red Devils boss David Moyes, whose team are down to ninth in the Barclays Premier League and 12 points behind table-toppers Arsenal.

United have so far played 14 top-flight matches following Moyes' defection to them from the Toffees over the summer, with their record showing six wins, four draws and four losses.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at how the first 14 league games at United went results-wise for each of the four men who managed the club before him, and how they went on to fare.

TOMMY DOCHERTY

Appointed December 1972

P14 W5 D5 L4

It was a particularly slow start for Docherty, whose first league win with United came at the seventh attempt. He managed to keep United up in 1972-73, but they were relegated from the top-flight in the next season. Docherty then guided the Red Devils straight back as Second Division champions and to a third-placed finish in 1975-76, a campaign in which they were also beaten FA Cup finalists. United won the trophy a year later and finished sixth in the league in what proved to be Docherty's last season at the helm.

DAVE SEXTON

Appointed summer 1977

P14 W5 D2 L7

United won three of their first four league games under Sexton, but plenty of defeats followed and they ended his first campaign in charge in 10th. In 1978-79 they finished only one position higher - as well as being defeated in the FA Cup final - and they were then First Division runners-up in 1979-80. They came eighth the following term and Sexton was subsequently fired.

RON ATKINSON

Appointed summer 1981

P14 W7 D5 L2

Atkinson's United suffered two defeats in their first three games, but then went on a decent unbeaten run and finished 1981-82 in third. They came third again in the following season and won the FA Cup, and in 1983-84 they were fourth and got to the European Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals. Another FA Cup triumph followed in 1985, plus fourth place again, and it was the same final position for them a year later, although that came after a poor end to what had been a highly promising league campaign. They were struggling near the foot of the table when Atkinson was dismissed shortly into the following season.

SIR ALEX FERGUSON

Appointed November 1986

P14 W6 D5 L3

A mixed bag of results in his first few games at United gave little indication of the great things Ferguson would go on to achieve during his tenure. There was also a combination of high and mid-table finishes in the first few years, before Ferguson - who retired at the end of last season - led the Red Devils to an absolute glut of trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two European Cups.

PA

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