Manchester United v Stoke City: David Moyes challenges squad to respond to Mark Hughes' jibe that they have 'lost their aura'

The United boss suggests that striker Robin van Persie should be fit for Saturday's encounter but refused to discuss a new contract for the in-form Wayne Rooney

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The Independent Football

Manchester United manager David Moyes said he would leave his team to respond on the Old Trafford pitch tomorrow to Stoke City manager Mark Hughes' claim that they have lost their aura.

“That might be Mark's opinion and he is entitled to it,” Moyes said, during a press conference in which he declared Robin van Persie had a “good chance” of facing Stoke. “We will wait to see how the game goes.” Moyes declined to discuss the United strategy on Wayne Rooney's contract - the actual position being that the club are not yet looking to establish the momentum where a new deal for him is concerned. “I couldn't tell you about that now,” he said.

The manager brushed off the fact that Rooney has pointedly put his regalvanised form this season down to Moyes. “I don't think it's [about] me or any others,” he said. “It's Wayne Rooney. He has had to make sure he is as good as he can be. He has had to get himself in good nick. His talent is not questionable.“

Of van Persie starting against Hughes' team, he said: ”He has got a good chance. He has problems with his toes - and groin as well. He has had a bit of training and hopefully he will be fit.“ Danny Welbeck is a doubt for United, with fluid on the knee, Tom Cleverley is still recovering from a calf injury and it is likely that Phil Jones and Jonny Evans will maintain their successful central defensive partnership.

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