Phil Jones: There is now an understanding between David Moyes and the Manchester United team
Defender claims the side are now gelling under the new manager
Monday 23 December 2013
The transitional process has been a long one but it seems David Moyes is finally starting to get his message across at Manchester United.
Long-time Red Devils defender Gary Neville has claimed Moyes will adapt to the United culture rather than the other way round after succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer.
Early criticism of a perceived negative approach does indeed appear to have had an effect given United have scored six times in their last two Premier League games, far more in keeping with the gambler's attitude Ferguson took into the job.
Yet Moyes' work on the training ground cannot be ignored either.
One of the most diligent and hands-on managers in the game, the Scot does not buy into the Ferguson theory of delegation being the key to success.
It has evidently not been an easy process for United to adjust to Moyes' personal touch but the evidence of the past fortnight, culminating in Saturday's 3-1 win over West Ham suggests there will eventually be a positive outcome.
"It has been a good couple of weeks," said defender Phil Jones.
"I think we can all start to feel there is more of an understanding at what the manager wants. The last four games have been an indication we are getting to that stage.
"We are in a good place at the moment. We are playing well. We are passing the ball well."
There is an acceptance United did miss a trick at the weekend by not emphasising their superiority sufficiently enough to record a substantial victory.
Moyes was unhappy at the number of missed chances, and also the concession of a late goal thanks to Alexander Buttner's complete failure to switch onto the offside trap that would otherwise have prevented Carlton Cole from grabbing the Hammers' consolation.
But there was internal satisfaction of the speed at which United operated, in marked contrast to the tepid performances against Everton and Newcastle.
"We needed to play at a higher tempo," said Jones.
"We have done well to bounce back from those disappointments against Everton and Newcastle. We have shown today - and in the previous games - we are starting to find our feet again in the United way."
Victory at Hull on Boxing Day would secure the longest winning run of the Moyes era.
And whilst United are destined to celebrate Christmas Day in their lowest position of the Premier League era, there are enough matches involving the sides above them over the Festive period to give them hope of edging closer to the top four at the very least should their present form be maintained.
"We can only concentrate on our games and what is in front of us," said Jones.
"We have a chance to put points on the board pretty rapidly over Christmas and we have to try and do exactly that."
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