Manchester United’s David Moyes expects Everton fans to respect feats

David Moyes takes on Everton for the first time as Manchester United manager on Wednesday night, trusting the fans who make the journey from Merseyside to Old Trafford will respect what he achieved in his 11 years at Goodison Park.

Moyes left Everton on reasonably good terms, if a little suddenly, though he has since been involved in bids for two of their players, one of which was rejected as “derisory” by his former club. “I would not be surprised if one or two people have a go but I think the majority of Everton fans are well aware of what was achieved,” he said. “The Premier League has been going for just over 20 years and in the first half of that period Everton had a top-10 finish maybe once. In the second half we finished in the top 10 on a regular basis. I think anyone looking at it would understand that I helped push the club in the right direction.”

While at Everton Moyes reacted furiously when Manchester City used their financial might to unsettle Joleon Lescott. He admits he can see why his former employers might be unhappy about him doing the same thing as United manager in his pursuit of Leighton Baines.

“I totally understand that and have no qualms about it at all,” he said. “I have got a job to do for Manchester United while Everton supporters have to support their team, which they have always done. Things could maybe have been done a little differently but that is football. I have great respect for Everton, their players, their chairman and their supporters. If I had not received the call from Sir Alex [Ferguson] four weeks from the end of the season I’m sure I would still be working there now. I had a contract and was deciding what my future was going to be at Everton and how we were going to take the club forward.

“I still speak to [the chairman] Bill Kenwright on the telephone, I still have banter with the staff at Everton and after the game I will be the first one to go and say hello to the players. But I am interested in winning the game. Sentiment can’t come into it because that is not me. I’ve got another club now and the one I’m interested in getting results for is United.”

Moyes admits a little of the ground gained with victory over Arsenal in the last home match has been lost with successive away draws at Cardiff and Tottenham but United now have two consecutive home games – Newcastle are the visitors on Saturday – to try to climb the table. “We are a little bit concerned about a gap opening up at the top; we’ve got to make sure we keep ourselves close enough to be competing,” he said. “We got ourselves into a really good position after Arsenal, then slipped up at Cardiff when it looked like we were going to win. I thought drawing at Tottenham was a pretty good point.”

Moyes said Robin van Persie could return from a groin injury that has afflicted him since he scored the winner in United’s 1-0 victory over Arsenal on 10 November.

Phil Jones is suspended and Michael Carrick injured, so Marouane Fellaini has a good chance of playing against his former club. “He’s not had the best of starts but this is a difficult club to join and settle in right away,” Moyes said of his £27m signing. “Marouane is a good player and has been for a few years at this level. I have no doubt he will go on to prove himself with this club.”

United will find opponents in good form and full of confidence after recent results, with Moyes’s replacement, Roberto Martínez, not only winning plaudits for bringing through young players but for showing an attacking ambition not always evident in recent Everton sides.

“Romelu Lukaku gives them something they have not had in the past,” Moyes said. “He is a loan signing, not a permanent one, but he has been really good for them. We were always lacking a top finisher; that was the missing piece at Everton over the years but it would have cost big money.

” We tried to make do with the players we had. I don’t see Everton doing any different to what they have been doing when they come to Old Trafford – they have only been beaten in one game all season. Roberto has been a good choice as Everton manager. They are in good form, have good players and are in a great league position.”

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