For a man tasked with arguably the hardest job in football and pressure mounting on him by the day, David Moyes does an admirable job when it comes to remain defiant in spite of the many adversities he’s faced so far this season.
Perhaps it really is staunch belief that his team will, at some point, turn the corner or perhaps the United manager is simply trying to desperately rally his troops, but Moyes’ determination in insisting that United are still in the title race is beginning to look like a desperate and pointless exercise.
Having been humbled 3-1 by Chelsea yesterday, United remain seventh, 14 points adrift of league leaders Arsenal and six points away from Liverpool and Spurs, currently occupying that much coveted fourth place – never thought it’d come to this, did we? – but Everton could leapfrog both of them with a win at West Brom tonight.
Moyes, however, insisted that United are still focused on retaining the Premier League title rather than merely clinching a top four spot – an arduous task in itself as things stand.
“What we won’t do is throw the towel in until we can’t get there. The job is to try and finish first. There are no clever answers: the next game,” said the United manager.
“We’d lost one in six before today in the league, and I didn’t think there was a big difference between the teams today. The difference was our defending to set-pieces.
“I thought Vidic wasn’t a sending off, but I’ve seen Rafa’s and I think that could have been one.”
Asked whether United were in crisis, Moyes’ response was much sharper than United’s defending at Stamford Bridge : “Crisis is your word, not my word. The priority is to win the next game, a cup game in midweek. I’ll try and do what we can there.”
Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, has other ideas – or perhaps is simply more in touch with reality – and declared that United’s title challenge – if there ever was one – is as good as over.
“I don’t think David will be upset if I say the reality: 14 points difference, and 13 and 12 (to the others),” said the Chelsea manager
“Can they recover to one of these teams? They can.
“But to three of them? It needs three teams to have almost a collapse. What I hope they do is to beat all of them to finish top four.”
On that, we can all agree, Jose.