David Moyes has reiterated his belief that Manchester United are still in the title race after the Reds scraped a 3-2 comeback victory at Hull City yesterday.
United were 2-0 down within 13 minutes at the KC Stadium, but made a startling comeback to level the scores just 12 minutes later with Wayne Rooney’s 150th Premier League goal for the club.
Moyes praised his players’ resolve after the game – in which Antonio Valencia walked after receiving a second yellow card for kicking the ball away – giving a nod to the mentality that characterised the Sir Alex Ferguson-era.
“The boys showed great character to come back,” he said.
“We didn’t start well, but all credit to the players for getting themselves back.
“The players have done it. They’ve done it this way in the past – they’ve played terrifically well to get back in the game, made opportunities and in the end got what it deserved which is three points.”
James Chester’s own goal gave the Champions’ their third straight league victory, but Moyes kept his feet on the ground when questioned on how it affected their title defence.
“We’ve got a long way to go. We can only try to hang on to the teams that are above us,” he said.
“We’re going to have to win an awful lot of games between now and the end of the season but the players are making a right good go of it and I believe we can be there or thereabouts at the end of the season and that is what we’ll try to do.”
Despite maintaining the possession and forging the majority of chances on Humberside, United were fortunate to remain in front, having to fight off a sustained bout of Tigers’ pressure in the closing stages.
“It was a bit harem scarem in the last five minutes, but I’d have taken that after being 2-0 down at the start of the game,” said Moyes.
“We haven’t conceded too many goals in the Premier League, and when we went 2-0 down I thought ‘this is going to be a long road to get back.’
“I think with 2-0 down to come back and win is a great result.”
Moyes was somewhat less enamoured with Valencia’s sending off, in which the Ecuadorian was dismissed by Michael Oliver for a rare loss of a temper and left his manager with a selection headache.
“It was something he shouldn’t have done,” said Moyes.
“We’ll have players to fill in. We’ve got a big squad so hopefully we’ll all be ready to go again against Norwich on Saturday.”
United’s arrival at Hull’s ground was delayed by trouble on ‘a bridge’, though Moyes was quick to deflect any suggestion that his side’s lacklustre display could be attributed to the hold-up.
“There’s no excuses – we didn’t start well enough,” he said.
“It can happen this time of year. You have to be careful – obviously in the Christmas period you have to make sure you go from the first whistle.”
United’s next game is away at Norwich City – a fixture they must win if they are to have any chance of fulfilling the manager’s expectations, but also one in which they lost 1-0 last time out.
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