‘He WILL turn things around’: Sidelined van Persie believes David Moyes will come good at Manchester United

By Sean Butters

Robin van Persie has brushed aside rumours that he is unsettled with life under David Moyes by backing his manager to succeed at Old Trafford.

The Dutch hit-man has not featured for Manchester United since their Champions League group stage victory over Shakhtar Donetsk in early December.

Although the club have put his absence down to a hamstring problem, it only served to exacerbate speculation of a rift between player and manager that has been festering in the media since the start of the season.

However, the 2012-13 Premier League Golden Boot winner told The Guardian this morning that despite the Reds currently languishing in seventh place, the only thing Moyes needs is time.

“I think he needs time like everyone, especially if you are new at such a big club,” he said. “He will get that time and everyone is convinced that we will change things sooner than later.

“The manager is our leading man in that case and he is trying his best and I think he will turn things around.”

Van Persie also paid tribute to strike partner Wayne Rooney, who is also injured, saying that being on the pitch with the England international makes him a better player.

“We realise that we are stronger when we are playing together, as a partnership,” said the 30-year-old.

“You are always stronger, in any sport, in life, when you are doing stuff together. With a player of Wayne’s calibre, we can go from strength to strength, and we can become even better.”

Although Rooney has returned from a warm-weather break in Egypt, David Moyes said today that he is unsure when the 28-year-old will shake off a niggling groin strain.

“He’s training, doing some running and looking good,” said Moyes. “I don’t want to put a date on his return.”

Following a long summer of uncertainty over whether the striker would remain at Old Trafford, Rooney made a complete turnaround and has been an integral part of Moyes’ team this season.

His stellar record of 11 goals and 19 assists in 27 games has been sorely missed, with United having been defeated in three of their past four outings.

Moyes also gave credence to growing suspicions that Anderson will be joining Fiorentina on loan until the end of the season.

The Brazilian midfielder has struggled to cement a first-team berth since arriving from Porto in 2007 and underwent a medical in Florence yesterday morning, as reported by MM.

“He is going out on loan to Fiorentina,” said Moyes. “We’ve not been able to get him as many games as he’d hoped, or we hoped we might get him, so we feel it’s a good opportunity for him.

“He’s going to a good club in a good league so, hopefully, it will benefit him.”

United will head to Chelsea on Sunday for a fourth consecutive match without their star strikers, a game in which they will need to secure at least a point to remain within touching distance of the top four.

The Reds secured victory at Stamford Bridge last season, but it was a game marred by controversy, with referee Mark Clattenburg sending off Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres within five minutes of each other.

The aftershock of the 3-2 win continued to be felt in the following weeks, with John Obi Mikel claiming that Clattenburg called him a ‘monkey’ during a heated exchange, an allegation that was later dismissed by the FA.

Prior to that meeting United had not won away to Chelsea in the league since 2002, a record that Moyes will hope to improve on as he comes up against Jose Mourinho’s men.

There may be some added spice on Sunday, as the Portuguese was widely thought to have coveted Moyes’ position before the Scot was announced as Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor in May of last year.

If that wasn’t enough, Mourinho was quoted this morning saying that although he expects Moyes to see out his six-year contract at Old Trafford, he feels that Chelsea are a better team.

Image courtesy of Sky Sports via YouTube, with thanks.

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