Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 09:46
Moyes doesn't mince words
By Reuters in London

Moyes doesn't mince words

Manchester United manager David Moyes watches his team's Premier League match against Chelsea in London on Sunday. Chelsea won 3-1. (Eddie Keogh / Reuters)

Manchester United manager David Moyes was facing up to what he described as "a massive challenge" after the champions lost 3-1 at Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.

Chelsea fans chanted throughout the match for Moyes to stay in his job, piling pressure on the Scot whose team has slipped 14 points behind leader Arsenal as the manager attempts to fill the large shoes of his predecessor, Alex Ferguson.

"It's a massive challenge. I had hoped we would be in a far better position, but we are not," Moyes said.

"So the challenge is there for me. But I think that if you are a football person, it is a great one to have.

"I am really looking forward to it."

Although United is 14 points back of Arsenal after 22 matches, Moyes is not giving up hope of retaining the title.

"What we won't do is throw in the towel until we can't get there. The job is to try to finish first," he said, brushing aside suggestions United is in crisis while sitting seventh in the standings.

"There' are no clever answers except trying to win the next game," he said.

Moyes lamented his team's poor finishing after it wasted early chances and the careless defending that allowed Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o to score a hat-trick.

Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho sympathized with his opposite number, saying United looked to be the stronger side early in the match.

"It's hard for them to be playing so well as they were in the first 20 or 25 minutes and still end up losing," the Portuguese said.

But Mourinho said he thought United was now too far behind the league's three front-runners to bridge the gap.

"I don't think David will be upset with me if I tell the reality, which is it's a 14 point difference (with Arsenal) and 13 and 12 (with Manchester City and Chelsea). Can they recover to one of these teams?

"They can ... but to recover to the three of them, it needs three teams to have almost a collapse. I think for the title, it will be difficult for them."