David Moyes admits being Manchester United manager is harder than he ever imagined.
Moyes' dismal debut season sank to a new low on Sunday when Liverpool eased to a 3-0 win at Old Trafford.
There was nothing fortuitous about Liverpool's first win at United's famous home stadium in five years.
In fact, United were lucky to get away without being given a really good hiding.
Other than a 1-0 win against Arsenal, United have not won a game against any of the top nine sides in the Barclays Premier League.
Moyes knew he would have a tough task on his hands emulating the achievements of Sir Alex Ferguson, but he never thought it would be this difficult.
"The job was always going to be hard," the United manager said.
"Harder? Yes I would say so yes."
The United fans have stuck by Moyes and there were no audible boos at the final whistle on Sunday.
Moyes knows performances and results will have to improve for that to continue though.
"Results will always dictate that but I can only tell you what I've seen today and the supporters were terrific," the Scot said.
Manchester United 0 Liverpool 3 player ratings
Manchester United 0 Liverpool 3 player ratings
1/24 David de Gea 6/10
Nowhere near any of the three penalties. Slightly made amends with a late stop from Suarez from close range, but then beaten again minutes after
2/24 Rafael 5/10
Lucky to remain on the pitch for the second period after an ugly tackle on Gerrard and then handball for the first penalty. Offered little in attack, too
3/24 Phil Jones 4/10
Confused by the movement of Sturridge, who ran rings around him. Recklessly charged out like a bull in a china shop to concede the second penalty.
4/24 Nemanja Vidic 3/10
Unlucky for second yellow for lunge at Sturridge, but, like most of his team-mates, looked well off the pace. His Italian retirement home awaits
5/24 Patrice Evra 4.10
Endured a painful afternoon. Could not cope with the pace of Sterling and Sturridge – and had to deal with pair on his own with little help from Mata
6/24 Juan Mata 4/10
Alienated on the wing, and did not track back to help Evra at all, constantly leaving space for Liverpool to exploit – which they did.
7/24 Marouane Fellaini 3/10
Had some success with interceptions early on, but, like Carrick alongside him, was run ragged as the game wore on. Another lacklustre display.
8/24 Michael Carrick 4/10
Pulled apart by the movement of Liverpool’s midfield. Could have conceded a fourth penalty with clumsy foul on Sturridge late on as well.
9/24 Adnan Januzaj 5/10
A couple of bursts forward made it look like he could provide the spark for United, but grew more and more anonymous, and timid.
10/24 Wayne Rooney 6/10
Had United's only real chance, when his powerful effort was saved by Mignolet.
11/24 Robin van Persie 5/10
Cut a frustrated figure. Struggled to get in the game and kept turning away from goal into blind alleys whenever he got a sniff of the ball.
12/24 Best of the bench: Danny Welbeck 4/10
Replaced the ineffective Januzaj with 15 minutes remaining, and although a willing runner, he chased shadows like his demoralised team-mates.
13/24 Simon Mignolet 7/10
Impressive stop from Rooney’s driven effort was the only time he was called upon. Then just watched the masterclass like everyone else
14/24 Glen Johnson 7/10
The right-back put in a solid shift, although was hardly in the thick of it such was United’s tame attacking. Did everything that was asked of him well
15/24 Martin Skrtel 7/10
The busier of Liverpool’s centre-back pairing, sticking close to Van Persie. But he struggled at times when Rooney decided to power into the box.
16/24 Daniel Agger 7/10
Beaten too easily by some early breaks from Rooney, but the Danish defender was comfortable for the majority of the match.
17/24 Jon Flanagan 7/10
Clattered about early on in the match but did not give Januzaj or Rafael any joy at all in a no-nonsense performance from the 21-year-old.
18/24 Steven Gerrard 9/10
Ended the match with a nose bleed as Liverpool entered nose-bleed territory in deserved fashion. A quite brilliant performance from the captain
19/24 Joe Allen 8/10
Usual great distribution of the ball, but was also happy to do the dirty work, putting in important blocks to launch his team on the attack.
20/24 Jordan Henderson 8/10
Sharp as a tack and always on the move. Has added incisiveness to his game this season. Something Carrick and Fellaini sorely lacked.
21/24 Raheem Sterling 7/10
Looked to get involved in every Liverpool attack, buzzing around the pitch. Neat and tidy with his passing in a more central midfield position
22/24 Luis Suarez 8/10
Put the icing on the cake with astute finish past De Gea in the final stages. Dropped a little bit deeper for maximum impact and terrorised poor Jones.
23/24 Daniel Sturridge 8/10
His pace and movement constantly troubled the United defence but was wasteful in front of goal. Unfair tumble to win the third penalty.
24/24 Philippe Coutinho 7/10
Came on for Sterling with 18 minutes remaining and nearly helped himself to a goal in closing stages but dragged a long-range effort wide.
United were an incredible 29 points ahead of Liverpool this time last year, but now they trail their old foes by 14 points.
The Merseysiders are almost certainly out of United's reach now and Moyes' focus is now set on an another improbable task - qualifying for the Champions League.
United are 12 points adrift of the top four having played two more games than their neighbours.
The United manager has not given up hope of finishing in the top four, however.
"It will be very difficult but it's not over yet so we have to keep working as hard as we can towards trying to do it," the former Everton manager said.
"I've been saying for a while we've given ourselves a long task and a long road to try to get back in it."
United's next difficult task is to try to overcome a two-goal deficit in Wednesday's Champions League match with Olympiacos at Old Trafford.
Moyes added: "The players are capable of turning it around. It's something to go for, it's another game and we'll do everything possible to make that work."
Meanwhile, United striker Wayne Rooney described Sunday's defeat to Liverpool - in which Steven Gerrard scored two penalties and Luis Suarez was also on target - as one of the darkest days of his career.
"It's one of the worst days I've ever had in football," Rooney told MUTV.
"It's hard to take. You have to give Liverpool credit - they played well - but it's difficult to take. Nobody wants to lose, especially in this way, in your own stadium. It's not nice."