David Moyes has refused to get carried away after United snatched victory from the jaws of the defeat in customary fashion against Stoke on Saturday afternoon to claim a crucial three points.
Dramatic and welcomed though it might have been, the win barely masquerade one of United’s worst performance of the season, as the Reds looked incredibly pedestrian for the first 70 minutes and could have – and perhaps should have – been more than one goal down at halftime and had to thank David De Gea for keeping the scoreline acceptable.
With some United fans turning on their own players, the Reds had to rely on late goals from Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez to restore some pride, but it’s obvious to everybody that United are simply papering over the cracks, as a criminal lack of reinforcements are making life after Sir Alex Ferguson even harder than many had predicted in the summer.
David Moyes admitted that without their traditional fighting spirit, his players could have found themselves entering November 11 points adrift of league leaders Arsenal, but he was nevertheless pleased with the reaction.
“It was a big moment when you’re 2-1 down with 10 or 15 minutes to go,” said Moyes. “It was a big moment to win the game.
“Hopefully we can continue to win games. If it’s in the same fashion then we’ll take it, but if we can make it a bit easier it will be great for the old ticker.
“We need to keep winning our games and there are big games to come, so hopefully we will continue to improve as we go along.
“It’s the same players and we have the same spirit here. I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t have. The players are doing everything they can to win games, and I am pleased with that.”
For all their struggles, United have won four of their last five games in all competitions and are only two points behind Premier League big-spenders and title favourites Manchester City, but few consider them a team in crisis.
Michael Carrick echoed his manager’s view, claiming the manner of Saturday’s win could turn out to be a pivotal turning point in United’s season.
“We kept going and believing we’d get there and we did,” said the United midfielder. “We left it late, but we’ve proved over the years it sometimes does take until the last few minutes to score and win the game.
“It’s the character we have – it was a vital game to win. We didn’t really have a choice, we had to find a way to win. We kept going and believing, and ended up finding that win.
“We have to kick on and get back to our normal selves. We’ve still got a way to go, we’re not kidding ourselves, we’ve had a couple of good results but by no means are we at our best – there’s more to come but we’re not in bad shape.”
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