Manchester United v Everton: David Moyes praises his replacement Roberto Martinez and says Robin van Persie could return from injury

Van Persie has missed the last three games through separate toe and groin injuries but could be in-line to return against Moyes's former team

Manchester United manager David Moyes has praised his successor at Goodison Park Roberto Martinez ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League clash which will see the Scot come up against his former club Everton for the first time since his summer departure.

Moyes left Everton after 11-years with the Toffees, having been selected to replace the retired Sir Alex Ferguson as the Red Devils’ manager. With his United side displaying a run of form after an indifferent start – they are currently unbeaten in 12 matches – a win would see United overtake Martinez’s side as they sit two points ahead in fifth.

Having made his name at Wigan where he secured the FA Cup last season, Martinez has settled in well on Merseyside, and Moyes acknowledges that he has adapted to his new surroundings well since his arrival.

“He is doing a very good job,” said Moyes, speaking on the eve of the match.

“He has very good players there. I always told them they could play without a manager because they are very well organised.

“But Roberto is doing a really good job keeping it going.”

One thing Moyes can’t be faulted on is getting his side scoring, with United scoring in each of their last 10 league matches since the 1-0 defeat to Liverpool in September. A further boost could come in the shape of a fit-again Robin van Persie, with Moyes revealing the Dutchman has a “chance” of being fit for the midweek game, adding: "He is doing okay.”

Moyes was never able to succeed at Old Trafford during his time at Everton, with the Toffees last victory at the Theatre of Dreams coming over twenty years ago. The Scot is suddenly on the other side of things though, and he will hope that record continues beyond tomorrow night as he looks to work his way up the Premier League table.

“Old Trafford has always been a difficult place for anyone to play,” he said. “That is why we have been disappointed with some of our own results there.

“No-one sees Manchester United away as an easy fixture.”

He will not be the only one who will walk out in front of his former supporters though, with central midfielder Marouane Fellaini also set to face thosehe used to call 'team-mates' following his £27.5m deadline day deal. Moyes’s attempts to sign left-back Leighton Baines added to his abrupt departure in leaving a sour taste in some Evertonian fans’s mouths, but he claims that the situation regarding his departure could not have been handled any better.

Fellaini has struggled to impress since joining United for £27.5m Fellaini has struggled to impress since joining United for £27.5m  

“My contract was running out and I only found out about the Manchester United job four weeks before the end of the season,” said Moyes.

“If you said how you would leave a club, I don't know if I could have done it any better. I don't know if anybody could.

“At the first right opportunity I tried to speak to (chairman) Bill Kenwright and that is how we handled it.”

So does he expect a frosty welcome from the away fans when he walks out tomorrow?

“It could be mixed,” he said. “They know their football and understand exactly where their club has gone.

“More importantly, they understand the players who are in their team. I brought the majority in and they will understand there are a lot of good players. But it is football and you never know.”

The 50-year-old had words of encouragement for Fellaini, with the Belgian struggling to impress since joining the team. Moyes said that he is going through the same settling in period that every new United player goes through, and remains confident that he will soon be back to his best.

"It is the same settling-in process that most Manchester United players go through," said Moyes.

"I don't think it is just Marouane or David Moyes. It is players joining this club.

Moyes tried to sign Baines in the summer, but the defender will miss the match tomorrow due to a toe injury Moyes tried to sign Baines in the summer, but the defender will miss the match tomorrow due to a toe injury  

"Obviously there will be players who hit the ground running and can go right in but there will be others who take a little bit of time.

"There have been quite a few of those here."

After back-to-back draws against Cardiff and Tottenham, United cannot afford to slip up against Everton, as defeat could leave them 12 points of leaders Arsenal should the Gunners beat Hull. But Moyes claims he expected life at United to be tough, and that he wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

"I knew the enormity of the job at Manchester United. It hasn't changed for me at all," he said.

"It is the biggest job and for me personally it is a great challenge."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Sport
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
News
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Sport
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
Sport
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
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

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
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