Manchester United v Everton: David Moyes keeps lid on emotions ahead of Everton's visit to Old Trafford - Premier League - Football - The Independent

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
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
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

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week