David Moyes never thought replacing Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager was going to be easy – and warned the transition may be a lengthy one.
Sunday’s 4-1 defeat at Manchester City has brought an even sharper focus on Moyes than already existed following his appointment as Ferguson’s successor in the summer.
Various reasons have been put forward for the scale of United’s defeat at the Etihad Stadium, which is terms of its one-sided nature had more in common with the 5-1 drubbing Ferguson’s team sustained at City’s hands in 1989 rather than the hiding suffered at Old Trafford two years ago, when the visitors scored three in stoppage time.
But it did seem to be the day when long-held reservations about United’s squad were exposed.
And Moyes knows the six-year contract he was handed when he left Everton in May took that reshaping into account.
“I don’t think it was ever going to be the case this was going to be easy and smooth after Sir Alex,” said Moyes ahead of Wednesday’s Capital One Cup test with Liverpool.
“There was always going to be days like this and there might well be more days like this.
“I hope not, but there will be because that is football.
“It was always going to be tough following such a great manager with a great team and I think people with real football knowledge will know there are probably some changes to be made.
“It is not going to be made in one fell swoop. It is going to be done in time.
“That is why the Manchester United board realised the job that needed to be done was a long-term one.”
He added: “I thought I was (prepared) but obviously when you come here then I realise maybe it wasn’t.”