Manchester United v Everton: David Moyes keeps lid on emotions ahead of Everton's visit to Old Trafford

'I would rather get on with the game,' says former Goodison boss ahead of reunion with former club

David Moyes, the Manchester United manager, declared himself indifferent to the fact that the side he managed for 11 years will arrive at Old Trafford on Wednesday night – "I'm not that emotional a person; I would rather get on with the game" – and stated that he would be neither disappointed nor surprised if he receives any abuse from Everton supporters.

However, the prickly nature of the conversation at his pre-match press conference about the way Moyes left Goodison Park during the summer revealed a man who cares far more deeply than he would have us believe.

"I disagree. I don't think there was any animosity built up," Moyes said when such a notion was put to him about the manner of his departure from Everton. When someone broached the potential for United's pursuit of Leighton Baines – which one source suggests the club consider a done deal for next month – to create antagonism towards Moyes, he was indignant. "Ah, you've added a player in there now. You've turned that around, then..."

Of course Moyes cares about his reception by the visitors' fans – and the personal and professional challenges posed are rendered even more acute by the wonderful start Roberto Martinez has made at Goodison.

One defeat in the league all season puts Everton two points and three places above United in the table, while Moyes admitted that he has concerns about being cut adrift from the top, with the gap to leaders Arsenal now nine points.

Martinez's signings have allowed Everton to rapidly develop into a team in the new manager's image – "it's a good loan signing, but that is what it is, a loan signing, not a permanent one," Moyes said of Romelu Lukaku.

However, his own acquisition from his old club, Marouane Fellaini, continues to struggle. "Not the best of starts; this is a difficult club to join," he said of the Belgian, who is likely to be in the starting line-up.

Not unreasonably, Moyes sought to provide a sense of what he delivered at Everton across all of those years – even though a win at Old Trafford was beyond him. "The club had finished in the top 10 how many times [before I arrived]? The Premier League has been going just over 20 years, and they had a top-10 finish maybe once. In the second 10-year period, we finished in the top 10 on a regular basis. I think if someone really looked at it, they would understand and hopefully realise that I helped push the club in the right direction."

Moyes said Robin van Persie is "doing OK. He has got a chance", despite his toe problems and it is also likely that Adnan Januzaj will feature from the start again. But the pressure is all on Moyes, with Martinez claiming Everton do have the raw materials to be in the top four and – in an interesting shift of philosophy from the Moyes era – stating he would be happier playing well for 85 minutes and losing than sneaking a win.

"We need to have a substance to our performance so we can take ourselves on to the next level," Martinez said. "It's about the long term."

The Spaniard has moved on from his Wigan days, too: his programme notes are signed off with solo lo mejor ("only the best") these days, not sin miedo ("without fear").

Moyes revealed that he remains in contact with his former chairman at Everton, Bill Kenwright, but in keeping with everything else in the conversation he insisted that he had not for one moment mentally rehearsed how he would respond to his new team scoring against the one in which he invested over a decade of his life. "I've not planned it. I've not thought about it," he said.

Suggested Topics
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
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

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?