Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United manager David Moyes fully focused despite visit of Everton to Old Trafford

By Simon Stone

David Moyes will never forget his time at Everton – but has no intention of letting past loyalties get in the way of securing three points for Manchester United this evening.

United host the Toffees for the first time since Moyes ended his 11-year association with the Merseyside club to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford.

For both clubs, it has meant seismic change.

And, with most of Roberto Martinez's new recruits presently missing for a variety of reasons, it means the overwhelming majority of players in the opposition line-up were taken to Goodison Park by Moyes.

The Scot accepts it puts him in a strange position, but he will not allow it to divert his attention away from the role he is paid to do now.

"My job is to manage Manchester United," he said. "I don't think anyone would have turned it down. The opportunity was too big.

"Obviously I have fond memories. You don't just throw 11 years away.

"But I have had to divorce myself from it. United is my team now and all my concentration has been on them.

"I don't have time to look at Everton results or how they are doing. My own players and my own club is what interests me."

There is certainly no chance of Moyes ending up in the wrong changing room, or walking towards the visitors' dressing room.

Yet the sensation will surely be weird.

Not even Ferguson managed against one of his old clubs during his time at United.

As Moyes spent so long at Everton, his attachment is obvious despite the rancour caused by a summer pursuit of Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines – which makes him doubt the kind of reception he will receive from the visiting fans.

"I had a great time at Everton," he said. "They were fabulous to me. They gave me a chance to succeed.

"Possibly if I hadn't been offered the Manchester United job I would still be there at Goodison Park.

"But it (the reception) could be mixed. They know their football and they know exactly where the club has gone and will understand I took a lot of good players there. But it's football and you never know.

"For me, I'm not an emotional person. I'd rather get on with the game."

So well have Everton prospered under Martinez they are currently above their north-west rivals in the Barclays Premier League table.

Moyes does accept Martinez has enjoyed a positive start to his new job.

"Roberto is a good manager," Moyes said. "He proved it at Wigan. He has his own ideas on how he wants to play. It is good for Everton.

"They have some really solid players. He has helped and added to it. They are a good team and are in a really strong league position."

With Newcastle to follow on Saturday, United must capitalise on successive home games to avoid their chances of retaining the championship slipping away completely.

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