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“Blame me,” says Moyes

Manchester United's manager David Moyes refused to blame his players after the defeat by NewcastleDavid Moyes has taken the blame for Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Newcastle, which has seen United plummet 13 points off the top, as the Reds have now lost as many games in three months as they did in the whole of last season and now failed to score in consecutive league games at home.

A 12-game unbeaten run had seemingly steadied the Reds’ ship, but consecutive 2-2 draws away at Cardiff and Spurs have now been followed by successive defeats at home, with United looking bereft of confidence and devoid of any momentum and inspiration as the lack of quality that had threatened to cripple this squad for years is finally being laid bare for all to see.

The United manager is likely to come under even more severe scrutiny than he’s had to face so far this season but, remarkably, he refused to blame his players after an horrific display on Saturday.

“The one thing they did from the off was to try to make it happen. They were all committed and trying to win the game but we lacked that final bit of quality at the end or the final pass in the final third or a little bit of luck if something had broken and gone in, said Moyes.

“They got that little bit of luck with Evra’s header off the back of [Moussa] Sissoko’s head that played him in and set up an opportunity. The last game or two we’ve just lacked that,” said the United manager referring to Newcastle’s winning goal, which sealed a second consecutive defeat at home in the Premier League for United for the first time since 2002.

On Saturday, Moyes gave Wilfried Zaha his Premier League debut, as the former Crystal Palace man replaced Nani after yet another ineffectual performance from the Portuguese, while Anderson was summoned onto the pitch in place of the astonishingly poor Tom Cleverley.

While neither substitution delivered the results Moyes had hoped for, the United manager remains confident his squad is good enough in terms of quality and depth to cope with the Premier League’s best.

“I do think the squad has got the depth and that’s why I played them,” explained Moyes. “I felt that we’ve had a lot of games and those boys were worthy of inclusion and that’s why we’ve involved them.”

Jonny Evans, however, admitted that visiting teams no longer arrive at Old Trafford simply planning to park the bus, but they’re increasingly confident of snatching three points.

“Obviously the lads have lost a bit of confidence,” said Evans. “You can tell that with the possession and creativity. Usually whenever we’re chasing a goal at Old Trafford, especially at the Stretford End, we put teams under an enormous amount of pressure but with the lack of confidence and creativity we didn’t produce that.

“It is hard to put your finger on it. If you look back at the game, we lacked a bit of sharpness in our passing. We were sloppy in possession, which allowed Newcastle to get control.”

What promised to be a long season, might have just got longer.