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
peopleTop Gear presenter and all-round controversialist is at it again
Sport
Aaron Ramsey celebrates after opening the scoring in Arsenal's win over Hull `
sport
News
peopleActress speaks out against historic sexual assault claims, saying things have 'gone quite far now'

Arts & Entertainment
A stranger calls: Martin Freeman in ‘Fargo’
tvReview: New 10-part series brims with characters and stories

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Life & Style
Guests enjoy food and cocktail parings by Chefs Jimmy Bannos, Jimmy Bannos Jr, Daniel Rose and Mindy Segal with mixologists Josh King and Alex Gara at Bounty & Barrel: A Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Dinner Series at Heaven on Seven on April 9, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
food + drinkSprinkle Palcohol 'on almost any dish' for 'an extra kick' firm says...
Arts & Entertainment
Shaun Evans as Endeavour interviews a prisoner as he tries to get to the bottom of a police cover up
tvReview: Second series comes to close with startling tale of police corruption and child abuse
Arts & Entertainment
Schwarzenegger winning Mr. Universe 1969
arts + entsCan you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
News
politicsLabour launches the 'completely hollow' Easter Clegg
Sport
Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring in Liverpool's 3-2 win over Norwich
sport Another hurdle is out of the way for Brendan Rodgers' side
News
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth-II by David Bailey which has been released to mark her 88th birthday
peoplePortrait released to mark monarch's 88th birthday
Arts & Entertainment
The star of the sitcom ‘Miranda’ is hugely popular with mainstream audiences
TVMiranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
Life & Style
The writer, Gerda Saunders, with her mother, who also suffered with dementia before her death
healthGerda Saunders on the most formidable effect of her dementia
Arts & Entertainment
Last, but by no means least, is Tommy Cooper and the fez. This style of hat became a permanent trademark of his act.
comedyNot Like That, Like This centres on alleged domestic abuse
Arts & Entertainment
Oxegen in Ireland has been axed as promoters decide it is 'no longer viable'
arts + ents Promoters have axed the event as it is 'no longer viable in current form'
News
The troubled star is set to give fans the biggest insight into her life away from the headlines
people Star made the announcement during the final episode of the programme, entitled Lindsay
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

The man who could have been champion of the world

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
Didn’t she do well?

Didn’t she do well?

Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
Before they were famous

Before they were famous

Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players