Sir Bobby Charlton has leapt to David Moyes’ defence ahead of Manchester United’s Champions League meeting with Shakhtar Donetsk.
Alarm bells are ringing among the Old Trafford faithful after the Reds have only taken seven points from a possible 18.
Moyes has had to withstand a barrage of criticism after United’s indifferent start but Sir Bobby believes that the former Everton boss is the right man to carry on the Old Trafford success story.
“We’re very fortunate that he’s our manager, no doubt about that,” he told the club’s official website.
“Continuity was a big factor in David’s appointment. Whenever you change manager, there will, of course, be one or two little differences, but not a lot if you handle it right and we’ve done that.”
The 1968 European Cup-winner’s comments indicate the faith that the United directors have in the man tasked with the seemingly impossible charge of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson.
However, there are certain pockets of supporters who are not entirely convinced, and there is a feeling that Moyes’ tactics are not positive enough – a theory that is cemented by the fact that United have failed to score from open play in the Premier League since their opening game against Swansea.
Tonight’s match in eastern Ukraine will be a far cry from the home mauling of Bayer Leverkusen, and, while not fully sacrificing the attacking impetus, Moyes would do well to hold onto those conservative methods for at least one more game.
Mircea Lucescu has proved to be an astute manager since his arrival in Donetsk in 2004 and has focused on bringing in young players – many of which have been imported from Brazil.
The seven-time Ukrainian League-winner asserted this week that United’s weak start to the campaign could be down to player rotation, and that Shakhtar may have the better chance through stability.
He said: “You can always see four or five new players and, because of this rotation, the links between players are not always very good. Turnover creates a lot of problems for them.
“In the Ukrainian championship we are not rotating the squad as much as United, so maybe that is why we have been more secure.”
Tonight’s match will be the first time the two sides have ever met.