David Moyes yesterday insisted that Manchester United will be back in the Champions League within a season or two and that while the 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich was hard to take, there were plenty of positives to be drawn from United’s performance at the Allianz Arena.
Not surprisingly given the way he’s conducted himself this season, Moyes also emphasised the need to rebuild the team and, if he’s allowed to remain in charge, one feels last night might have been the last European game in red for a few players who could follow Nemanja Vidic out of the door in the summer.
“We won’t have Champions League football [next season] but I don’t think it is far away,” said Moyes.
“We need to rebuild, and our focus now is to get a team that can get back in this competition. My job is just to get on with it. [This] is disappointing but the focus now is that we get a team ready to get back in there. It’s a great competition, we’ve really enjoyed it and we need to get back in it.”
Ironically, given how often Moyes has spoken of the need to rebuild the squad, United performed much better against the European champions than they had done throughout the season and the United manager admitted there were some positives signs last night.
“Our team has improved,” said Moyes. “There have been games when you might say it has not, but there have been signs of improvement. I thought the likes of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling were outstanding. They were terrific. Shinji Kagawa played very well. There were a lot of positives.”
Moyes called Mario Mandzukic’s equaliser immediately after Patrice Evra’s goal a “schoolboy error” and admitted it was a crushing blow for United’s morale.
“If you are a schoolboy you get told that if you score, make sure you don’t concede right away,” said Moyes. “We didn’t do an awful lot wrong tonight but it was just a couple of sloppy errors. The only crime was conceding a goal [so soon] after we had scored. That was the biggest crime.”
“I have a team full of experienced players and it is the sort of the thing you learn as a schoolboy that once you score a goal make sure you don’t concede and be in your position and do your job.”