16th Aug 14 – Swansea City (H): A Demoralizing 2-1 Loss

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First of all, hello everybody! I’m posting on this blog after such a long time. I had a very busy personal transition to make, and hence, I had been neglecting this blog. I used to post pre-match and post-match press transcripts on this blog but now that they are available everywhere, that practice seems futile. I have thus decided to review each of United’s matches from a fan perspective on this blog; hope you like to read what I have to write!

Report

It was a very demoralizing opening day of the Premier League for us as Louis van Gaal got off to a poor start. It was our first opening-day loss since 1972, and our defense was just not up to scratch. Ki Sung-Yeung gave Swansea the lead on 28 minutes and we went into half-time a bit confused – we were creating chances but our defensive frailties were very visible.

Within eight minutes of the start of the second half though, Rooney found the back of the net with a very agile overhead kick finish and the equalizer made the confidence rush back into Old Trafford. Wazza was in again on 56 minutes, but his free kick could only strike the post. With Nani on and Mata playing well, we were building momentum. However, Sigurdsson ruined opening day by pouncing on Routledge’s well-controlled through-ball and silence fell over Old Trafford as we fell behind again on 72 minutes. Try as we may, we just could not get back into it although I felt the handball at the end against Rangel should have been a penalty.

Reaction

It was surely disappointing for many United fans as the fantastic pre-season had built the hopes up. While van Gaal has since then reiterated on multiple occasions that one result does not dictate a season, this seems all too familiar to last season – when we were repeatedly defending our losses (when Moyes was in charge). An opening-day victory would have held us in good stead for the coming weeks, but even though we know our squad was incredibly depleted, it is hard to stomach such a shock loss.

The only major positive of this match was Wayne Rooney. That’s about it. Our new club captain was at the heart of our every attacking move, got the goal, struck the post and had multiple shots on target. Unfortunately, a football team needs an attack AND a defence, and the latter was lacking in a very major way for us. Our defence was our major negative and this showed so clearly, it hurt. Blackett may be a talented youngster, but starting him in his first Premier League match is a bit too much for him – our defence has been hurt by Vidic, Evra and Ferdinand leaving and we quite simply did not have enough fit replacements.

All is not lost though, as a new ray of hope arrives in the form of Marcos Rojo; our latest signing from Sporting Lisbon. Even though he is ineligible to play in the next match against Sunderland, as soon as he gets a work permit, he’ll certainly be a good addition to our admittedly poor defence. RvP, Evans and Valencia should be fit enough to play against Sunderland, so that will be a very big boost to our squad.

Until next time, cheers!

9 May 14 – Southampton (A) Pre-Match Press Conference

Ryan Giggs, 9th May 2014 – Southampton (EPL, A)

Ryan Giggs, 9th May 2014 – Southampton (EPL, A)

TOURNAMENT – Barclays Premier League

MATCH – Southampton (Away) at St. Mary’s Stadium

DATE & TIME – 11th May 2014, 15:00 GMT (19:30 IST)

Pre-Match Press Conference of Ryan Giggs

Q. Can you, first of all, bring us up to date with the injury situation with regards, particularly, to Phil Jones’ situation?

Giggs: Yeah. Phil’s injury isn’t as bad as I thought on the night. So he’s obviously out for Sunday, but he should be okay for the World Cup. Wayne’s just started training over the last couple of days – Sunday is probably a little too quick for him. But obviously, he’ll train and be fine for the World Cup also.

Q. Well obviously, we know you’ve been reluctant to, really, make any comment on the possible appointment of the new manager. But given the fact that Louis van Gaal has now come out and said that he would love the job, and we’re all hearing that there’s going to be an appointment next week, what are your thoughts on the process of appointing the manager so far?

Giggs: You know, my stance isn’t any different than it was last week. Obviously, there’s been huge speculation but nothing’s been announced yet. And my job is to prepare the team for Southampton, so that’s what I’ll do. I’m sure there will be an announcement soon, and maybe I can comment on it then. But at the moment it’s just speculation so there’s not a lot I can say.

Q. Are you looking forward to that appointment as much as everybody else is, whatever appointment that may be?

Giggs: Yeah, I think everyone is. Obviously, it’s been a difficult season for us. So when the management situation gets sorted out, we can move on and like I said, that’ll probably be in the next couple of weeks.

Q. Ryan, in terms of the three-four weeks you’ve been in charge, has that fuelled your desire to be a manager? You’ve never made a secret of the fact that it was the move you wanted to go down when your playing career finished. But, you’ve also alluded to the fact that there’s more to the job than you envisaged. Do you still want to be a manager?

Giggs: Yeah, it just depends on what time of the day you’re asking that question (smiles) – sometimes you probably think – “Yeah, I can do that” and another times it gives you so much pleasure. After the game last Saturday, you could without it. But you probably learn more from defeats and not doing so well, just like when you’re a player. But I’ve enjoyed it – I’ve enjoyed the whole experience and it’s definitely helped me prepare for what will come after my playing career.

Q. Where does the motivation come from? Because clearly you’re in a position where you don’t financially, I assume, have to work. And you see managers getting sacked 6, 9, even lesser months time. What is the motivation to do the job?

Giggs: It’s not a lot different from a player actually. The satisfaction you get from winning, and the pleasure you get from setting up a team, and they go out and do their stuff. And equally so, when you lose a game, you’re gutted, you’re angry, you’re disappointed – but just like a player, you can’t wait for the next game to come so you can do something about it. It sort of goes around in waves really – one minute you enjoy it, one minute you don’t. But ultimately, it gives you a lot of satisfaction when everything goes all right.

2 May 14 – Sunderland (H) Pre-Match Press Conference

Ryan Giggs, 2nd May 2014 – Sunderland (EPL, H)

Ryan Giggs, 2nd May 2014 – Sunderland (EPL, H)

TOURNAMENT – Barclays Premier League

MATCH – Sunderland (Home) at Old Trafford

DATE & TIME – 3rd May 2014, 15:00 GMT (19:30 IST)

Pre-Match Press Conference of Ryan Giggs

Q. How much easier has this week been bearing in mind you’ve not been quite so much in the spotlight as you were this time last week?

Giggs: Yeah, it’s been good. I had a good week; training’s been good and of course, lot less hectic than last week.

Q. You’ve had a lot of support; you’ve had a lot of support from fans, you’ve had a lot of support from people inside the game. What have you been told about your future maybe as manager of Manchester United?

Giggs: Nothing’s changed. It’s just till the end of the season and we’ll chat when that’s over. But yeah, nothing’s changed for me – concentration is on Sunderland tomorrow and then after that, on the remaining two games.

Q. But whatever happens, whether Louis van Gaal is here or not, do you see your long-term future at Manchester United as part of something new?

Giggs: Again, I mean, I’ve got lots to think about – whether to carry on playing. But, my concentration is just on now really; and at the end of the season, we’ll see what happens.

Q. In terms of that, do you think you will have your suit on again on Saturday, or your tracksuit?

Giggs: Well, it’s football, pretty superstitious, so yeah, suit again, I think. Unless I’m playing.

Q. I suppose you could have your kit underneath your suit.

Giggs: Yeah, could do. But it wouldn’t be a good look, yeah (agrees with questioner).

Q. Is that you done then for this season, if you are superstitious, or could you be tempted to get that kit on again?

Giggs: No, I’m still doing training and doing bits and pieces, so I’m still in the frame and maybe playing the remaining games – or being involved in the remaining games.

Q. Ryan, could you just clarify Wayne Rooney’s situation – some people think he has a stomach bug, some people think he’s got a groin injury, most don’t think he’s going to play tomorrow – so, what’s the situation there?

Giggs: Yeah, no, a few of our lads have had a bug – Anders Lindegaard has had a bug, Wayne has. But Wayne’s also got a tight groin, so obviously, with the bug, you’ve just got to be careful with that because it means your system’s down a little bit. But, Wayne being Wayne wants to play and wants to be involved so, we’ll just monitor it over the next 24 hours.

Q. Any other injury news, Ryan that you could tell us?

Giggs: No, Robin’s been back training this week – he’s looked good. Whether tomorrow’s too early, we’ll just see how he goes today. But, yeah, he’s looked really good this week.

Q. In terms of you and playing potentially before the end of the season, who’s gonna make that decision? I mean, who’s gonna actually tell you whether you can play or are you going to make that decision yourself? Or is it a case of have you looked alright in training, and Nicky or Phil might say, “Yeah, we’ll give you a run out”?

Giggs: I don’t think they’re going to say I didn’t look good in training. But no, it’s just a case of keeping myself fit and the circumstances hopefully. Win every game, and I might not get back in – the lads would be doing well! We’ll just have to wait and see.

26 Apr 14 – Norwich (H) Pre-Match Pre-Match Interview

Ryan Giggs, 26th April 2014 – Norwich City (EPL, H)

Ryan Giggs, 26th April 2014 – Norwich City (EPL, H)

TOURNAMENT – Barclays Premier League

MATCH – Norwich (Home) at Old Trafford

DATE & TIME – 26th April 2014, 17:30 GMT (22:00 IST)

Pre-Match MUTV Interview of Ryan Giggs

Q. Well Ryan, first of all, I suppose it must have been a whirlwind week for you.

Giggs: Yeah, that’s exactly how it’s been. From Tuesday morning, they’d asked me to look after the team for the remaining four games which I had no hesitation in saying yes to. And from then on, really, just, yeah, crazy week.

Q. What does it mean to you to be the manager, albeit on an interim basis, but the manager of Manchester United?

Giggs: I’ve got to say, its the proudest moment of my life. I’ve supported Manchester United all my life. It’s been the biggest part of my life since I was 13… 14, since I signed the schoolboy forms. And ever since then, it’s been the biggest part of my life. So, I’m proud, I’m happy, a little bit nervous – really, just like playing, can’t wait for the game Saturday.

Q. Is it going to be a proud moment for you? You’ve worn the shirt so many times, you’ve sat on the bench as a coach, but to actually walk up that line as a first-team manager for a Premier League game at Old Trafford – is that going to be a proud moment for you?

Giggs: To be honest with you, I can’t wait for 5:30 Saturday to be walking out. I know the place will be rocking, I know the fans will get behind us. It’ll be a moment that I’ll wake up and look forward to. The team have looked great all week, they’ve looked sharp. And, like I said, I can’t wait for 5:30 and the game starting. Just like as if I was a player – you prepare yourself the best that you can, waiting for that moment.

Q. Was one of your first calls to Paul Scholes? And to see Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt and Phil Neville – everyone knows the story, and to see all of you there involved is a special thing.

Giggs: Yeah, of course Phil was already involved; so was Woodsy, and they’ve stayed on. Nicky was involved with the reserves, so I asked him to come over and help us with the first team which he was more than happy to do. And yeah, the phone call was to Scholesy because I know how much the club means to these people. They feel about the club the same way as I do. And I know n the short space of time, they’ll give it everything to make it a success and hopefully, end what has been a frustrating season on a high.

Q. Have you just been told it’s four games? What happens at the end of the season? I suppose you don’t really know, it’s just to see out the season.

Giggs: No, my mindset is just on first Norwich and then the remaining three games after that really. And after that, who knows what happens?

Q. And how have the players responded to you? Are they calling you gaffer?

Giggs: (laughs) I’ve had to take a bit of stick, yeah – ‘Where’re you gonna park?’, ‘What do we call you?’. I’ve had a gaffer sign on my place in the changing room. But, no, they’ve been great. The reaction in training’s been good, it’s been sharp. And that’s what I’ve tried to do – just try and make it relaxed, enjoy yourself. Like I said, let’s try to have a good end to what has been a frustrating and disappointing season.

Q. What has been your main message to the lads, though, for the final few games?

Giggs: That I trust you, that I know what you’re capable of. Go out there and show it on Saturday. And give the fans something to shout about – entertain them, score goals, make tackles, play with speed, play with tempo. And that’s what they’ve done in training so, they’ll take that out into the game on Saturday.

Q. On that point, quite often, callers to MUTV say we’d like to see United playing what they call the United way – exciting, swashbuckling, wingers – is that your philosophy?

Giggs: It’s my philosophy and it’s what I’ve grown up with – it’s Man United’s philosophy. So, yeah, I’ll take that into the game on Saturday. We’ve got the players to do it. We’ve got great players in that dressing room who are winners, who are used to winning . They’ve got that winning mentality. Yeah, they’ll show that Saturday and like, I’ve tried to do, enjoy it! I’ll try to enjoy it as much as I can. I don’t know if I’ll will as much as if I’m playing because I’ll be a little bit nervous. But, no, go out and enjoy it.

Q. Do the players, though, share some responsibility for a season that, by our standards, hasn’t gone well; hasn’t gone to plan?

Giggs: I think everyone shares responsibility – you win together and you lose together, it’s as simple as that. And everyone involved this season haven’t been to the standards of Manchester United. And, yeah, in this short space of time, we’ll do something about that.

Q. Have you spoken to Sir Alex at all? Has he given you any advice in this short space of time?

Giggs: Yeah, obviously. I played under Sir Alex for so long. He was the first person to call because, I wanted advice and I wanted to know what to expect, and who better to ring? Why wouldn’t I?

Q. What’s almost got lost in all of this is that there is a game against Norwich City. The game itself, they come here in serious trouble, does that make them dangerous?

Giggs: Yeah, it does because they’re fighting for something. Around this time of the season, there’s always someone fighting for something – whether it’s to be getting into Europe, whether it’s to be getting into the Champions League, whether it’s to be staying up. And, its dangerous because they’re fighting for their lives. We won’t underestimate Norwich definitely because of the situation that they’re in. They’re a good team and they ended the game last week against Liverpool really well. But we’re Man United. We’re at home. I expect to win, and I expect to play well.

Q. You mention being at home. You’ve been excellent away from home, but at home, it’s been a problem this year for whatever reason. How important is it in this final three home games that the fans at least leave on a bit of a high?

Giggs: Yeah, I want the fans to enjoy the end of the season. And like you say, three home games, it’s a great chance for the players. It’s obviously a great place to play football. And that’s what I want to bring to these three games – for the home fans to have something to shout about.

18 Apr 14 – Everton (A) Pre-Match Press Conference

David Moyes, 18th April 2014 – Everton (EPL, A)

David Moyes, 18th April 2014 – Everton (EPL, A)

TOURNAMENT – Barclays Premier League

MATCH – Everton (Away) at Goodison Park

DATE & TIME – 20th April 2014, 15:10 GMT (20:40 IST)

Pre-Match Press Conference Transcript of David Moyes

Q. It is the best away record in the Premier League, David, at the moment. If you can keep that going, does that open up still the possibility of Top 4 this season, given that you’ve got that game in hand over Arsenal as well?

Moyes: Well, we’ve said that we’ll never give anything, we won’t until we simply can’t do it. But, obviously, it’s nearly a mathematical impossibility – but we’ll keep trying to make it happen if we can. It’s a tough game going to Goodison for any team at any time, as I should well know. But we’ll go there with a good away record this season, and we’ll try and make it work again.

Q. And how’s Wayne Rooney?

Moyes: Wayne Rooney’s trained great this week. He’s been in really good form. Getting him back, I think is a good thing. He just wasn’t quite right in the last game with his toe at times. But he’s training great this week.

Q. How are the other lads looking as well – Robin and Rafael and Jonny?

Moyes: Well, Robin’s in Holland and Robin’s making improvements. We always thought he would be four to six weeks. We’ll get a better assessment over the next week or so to see exactly where we think he is and how he’s coming on. Our medical team’s heading out there to see him this week and we’ll get a better feel for exactly where he is. Felli didn’t play in Munich, but we expect Felli to be back fit. He’s trained all week. So hopefully, Jonny Evans is making progress as well. Only Rafa’s the one player who’s not available.

Q. And clean sheets as well, away from home. I think it is 488 minutes without conceding, that’s some record isn’t it?

Moyes: Hmm, very good. I didn’t know that myself (laughter). We’ve had some really good moments at times with some of the results but then, obviously, other times we’ve not. So we have to try and keep that going, and it’ll be well tested because we go to a side that’s in good form this year and we’re going to have to play very well.

Q. It seems that speculations have kicked off already with regards to the summer. I’m not going to go into individuals, but I just wonder how far you get into planning for next season at this stage?

Moyes: Well, I’ve got to say I’m well into my planning. I’m well into my thoughts and my ideas already for next season. Not everything you read about in the papers is correct, I’ve got to say that because we’ve been linked with player after player. And every time I go to a game, it seems that I’m signing three or four players in that game. So that isn’t the case. But everybody’s well aware that we’re looking to make some signings and we’ll try and do that whenever that opportunity arises. It’ll probably be after the end of the season before anything really takes place but we have to look to try and do one or two things.

Q. More imperative just given the World Cup as well?

Moyes: Well, I think it will be difficult. Players will be going away to the World Cup, and maybe its not quite so easy. But, I think ideally most clubs would always like to get their work done early. It doesn’t always happen that way, there’s no guarantee ours will, but we’ll do what we can to try and make that happen.

8 Apr 14 – Bayern Munich (A) Pre-Match Press Conference

TOURNAMENT – Champions League

MATCH – Bayern Munich (Away) at The Allianz Arena

DATE & TIME – 9th April 2014, 18:45 GMT (10th April 2014, 00:15 IST)

David Moyes, 8th April 2014 - Bayern Munich (UCL, A)

David Moyes, 8th April 2014 – Bayern Munich (UCL, A)

Pre-Match Press Conference Transcript of David Moyes

Q. So David, what are your thoughts on tomorrow’s game?

Moyes: Really looking forward to the game – second leg, quarterfinal of the Champions League, with the opportunity to try and reach the semifinal! Its a massive game, one which all the players are looking forward to, and we’ll do everything we can to reach the semifinal.

Q. David, is this your hardest test as a manager? If you were to win it, would it be your greatest ever victory?

Moyes: Yeah, it’s the hardest task because of the level of the opposition, level of the competition and the stage of the competition – means that of course it’s the hardest game. And there’s a lot of top players on show from both sides. But, I’ll do everything I possibly can to help the players get a result on the night.

Q. How much of a boost was it that Wayne was able to train?

Moyes: Yeah, he was able to train. He’s massively keen to be involved. But he’s not trained all week – so we need to be wary of that but we’ll do everything we possibly can. He’s happy to take an injection to play in the game which, I think, it shows you his feeling about the game, about the club and, we need him as well – he’s a really important player to the team.

Q. David, you’re strategy worked very well in the opening leg at Old Trafford. Can we expect  a similar approach maybe tomorrow evening?

Moyes: Well, I’d like to have more possession, I’d like to have more of the ball. I’d like to have a bigger effect in the game – and my plans will be to do that. But they were also my plans in the first game as well – the quality of Bayern at times was very good. And you also have to respect your opponents, and on the night, they did some good things. But, I expect us to play better than we did in the first leg, and I believe we can play better than we did in the first leg. And to get through, we probably will, as well.

Q. David, getting through, and getting to the final is the way that your players can play in the Champions League next season. When you look at them, do you sense that they want to hold onto this level of football for another year?

Moyes: Well, I think the Champions League is a competition all sides are trying to achieve – by reaching it. And it’s no different at United. I think its a competition – we’ve been one of the most successful in Europe, and its a competition we want to try and continue in. It’s a difficult ask through our league position this year, but we’ll try and do it any way we can.

Q. David, in the first leg, Vidic and Rio Ferdinand were outstanding for you. Can you emphasize how much their experience means in these sort of games for you?

Moyes: Well, we’ll need a very good performance from everybody. It’s a game where you won’t be able to carry any passengers. But, it’s also a game that everybody’s really looking forward to, all the players are prepared for it. We prepared well for this game by beating Aston Vil… (smiles) by beating Newcastle at the weekend, I should say. And I feel that the players are going into the game in a good frame of mind. We’ve given ourselves every opportunity – we’ve done all we can to prepare for the game. So, we have to go into this game knowing that its a cup final for us. We want to be in the Champions League final, but first of all we’ve got to win this final, which is the second leg tie against Munich and from that point of view, we can’t leave anything at all. We have to make sure we go through on the night.

Q. David, what kind of statement do you think it would make about this football club, which has had criticism this season, if you were to beat the champions and go through to the semifinal. And secondly, if you weren’t to, and it was to be the Europa League next year, would you embrace that competition as well?

Moyes: Well, I think the only thing my focus has been towards is getting through in this game. I think to talk about things that have gone on – the league or anything else that’s happened – I think it would be better just looking forward to this game and preparing for it. And I think we have done as well – we’ve got the players ready and focused on this one. They know the job at hand is a big task, but I think it’s one that we’re all relishing. I think it’s the sort of game that United over the years have been involved in and had a good record. And we’re going to have to try and do that again.

Q. David, what’s the actual injury that Wayne’s got? What did the scans show? Is there any long term danger by giving him this injection, potentially?

Moyes: Well, we think it’s okay because we wouldn’t do anything wrong or we wouldn’t do anything ‘medically’ wrong. We take the advice from our doctors and the people who advise us. Wayne – everybody knows the character he is, they know the type of player he is and he’s determined to play. And if he’s determined, well, we’d be mad not to give him the opportunity to do so.

Q. David, how does it affect your tactical approach to the game when you know you have to score, otherwise you’re out?

Moyes: Well, it doesn’t alter an awful lot. Because if Bayern score, we need to score one goal as well. So our tactical approach would have been the same – we’re going to go in there and we’re going to try to win the game, it has to be. But we have to do that from a technically good position – the players I should say, they have to be technically good on the ball. We need to do better than we did in the first leg with the ball when we have it. But I do think we need the same spirit, the same determination to make sure that we get ourselves a good position.

Q. David, for all of Bayern’s reputation, three of our big four – what we call our big four – have won here in the last 20 months, one in the final. Can this have any bearing upon this or not?

Moyes: Well, I think that will be something that will be more in Bayern’s mind that the English teams have come here and have quite a good record. And they’ll have that doubt in their mind. Obviously, they’re European Champions but they also have a question mark about the games they’ve had to play here against the English sides. So, we’ll try and use it to our advantage. But, we all need to play well. We know we all need to be very good tomorrow night, and our aim is to try and do that.

Darren Fletcher, 9th April 2014 - Bayern Munich (UCL, A)

Darren Fletcher, 9th April 2014 – Bayern Munich (UCL, A)

Pre-Match Press Conference Transcript of Darren Fletcher

Q. You’ve obviously had your disappointments, Darren, in this competition – three finals, and you didn’t play in any of them. You’ve got a personal incentive to keep going – I know that’s not your main priority, but it is particularly important to you, isn’t it?

Fletcher: Yeah, of course. For whatever reasons, I’ve not managed to play in a final. I’ve just spoken about getting to three different circumstances have prevented me from that. Its been a dream of mine since I was a small boy, to play in the Champions League final. So, a win tomorrow night obviously takes us into the semifinals and gets us closer to achieving that. But, its more important the club and the team get there, rather than the individuals. When the team, or if we do get there, then you do your best in the games, and you hope that you’re selected. As I said before, the most important thing for us is to win tomorrow night and get ourselves in the semi finals and then, we’ll take it from there.

Q. Darren, you played in this game in 2010 when you took the lead and lost with Wayne being injured. Do you look back on that tie as a missed opportunity? Because if you’d gone through to the semifinal, you could have gone to the finals.

Fletcher: Yeah, massively – it’s a big disappointment looking back because there was nothing in the game out here. We lost two late goals, quite sloppy. And then after dominating the second leg, we were unfortunate to go out, I think. Circumstances weren’t with us on the night after a great first half performance. So yeah, there is regret but there’s regret everytime you lose in the Champions League. But, I think that’s one that I look back on and think, that was a real missed opportunity because how well we played over the two legs.

5 Apr 14 – Newcastle United (A) Post-Match Reaction

TOURNAMENT – Barclays Premier League

MATCH – Newcastle United (Away) at St. James’ Park (Sports Direct Arena)

DATE & TIME – 5th April 2014, 14:00 GMT (19:30 IST)

RESULT – Newcastle United 0 – 4 Manchester United (Mata 39′, Mata 50′, Hernandez 64′, Januzaj 92′)

David Moyes, 5th April 2014 - Newcastle United (EPL, A)

David Moyes, 5th April 2014 – Newcastle United (EPL, A)

Post-Match Press Conference Transcript of David Moyes

Q. David, eight changes and a 4-0 away win. Could you have asked much more?

Moyes: No, I thought we played very well today. I thought some of the performances individually were fantastic and I thought, as a team, we played very well. We needed a good performance, we didn’t start the game as well as I’d like in the opening 20 minutes – I thought our passing was a bit sloppy and not as accurate as we like. But once we got into the rhythm, I thought we played really well.

Q. It was a strangely low-key atmosphere to start with. I didn’t really expect that here. Did you have to, almost, get yourself going there a bit as the game went on?

Moyes: Well, Newcastle are having a few poor results themselves and the crowd are finding it difficult. But, what you could hear was our support – they’re way up in the Gods, that’s where they are in Newcastle, and thankfully, we were able to give them another good away performance.

Q. Obviously a good team performance, but picking out individuals – Mata, is one you obviously have to pick out.

Moyes: Juan played really well. I think Juan has been doing very well for us, I really do. I think he’s made the team better, he can assist in goals, he can score goals. But in the first four or five games, we didn’t see him scoring any. But now you’re beginning to feel he’s got those goals in him. And even his back heel for the Adnan today for the fourth goal was a bit of magic – it really was, it was great. I thought when Shinji, and Juan Mata and Adnan were on the field, I thought there were some terrific, sort of technically gifted football.

Q. And his goals, I mean the free kick was great. The sort of drag back for his second goal was a great bit of skill.

Moyes: It was great. I mean, his composure for the second goal when he got played in by Chicha. And, the free kick – if you practice, and everyday, him and Wayne practice. They practice their free kicks, they try to get it right. Its a simple thing, but it is right – practice makes perfect, and it was a perfect free kick today.

Q. And Chicharito got another goal, after he got one last week. And good to see Adnan getting another.

Moyes: Good goal, and Chicha got through and hit the post just before half-time, it would have been an important goal to make it 2-0. But it was a great bit of movement, and it was a great bit of play to get in again, and the cut-back, and Chicha’s movement in the box. So, everybody knows that’s what Chicha can do – he’s got that ability to get you a goal.

Q. Ten away wins now, that’s pretty special, isn’t it?

Moyes: (Bemusedly) Yeah, I’m thrilled by our away performances. We just need to try and as I’ve said many times, can we try and show that more at Old Trafford? But, the hardest thing in football is probably to win away from home. Maybe the expectations at Old Trafford is really high for us, but I really do think that we are capable of it. Some of the football we played today was fabulous.

Q. Have you lost Ashley Young for the week? He went to the hospital.

Moyes: Yeah, he’s got torn ligaments in his hand – it looks a bad injury. I don’t know exactly how long it will keep him out just now – but the way the medical team have talked to me, it doesn’t seem a great injury.

Juan Mata, 5th April 2014 - Newcastle United (EPL, A)

Juan Mata, 5th April 2014 – Newcastle United (EPL, A)

Post-Match Reaction of Juan Mata

Q. Juan, a 4-0 away win, I suppose you couldn’t really have asked much more than that today.

Mata: No, I don’t think so. I think we did a great performance, scoring four goals, winning with good football – specially in the second half. Its a happy day for us – let’s try to carry on on Wednesday.

Q. The understanding that you seem to have with Shinji, Chicharito, with Januzaj when he came on – that was something pretty special, that forward play.

Mata: Yeah, I think we did really well. For me, it is a pleasure to play with players like them. Like Chicha, Shinji, Adnan – they’re quality players, so its easy to play alongside them. I think today we enjoyed out on the pitch, and we created chances to score. I’m very happy for Chicha as well, he deserved that goal. And for Adnan, coming off the bench.

Q. The goals, the first one was a free kick, is that something you practice often?

Mata: I do, I do. I do normally twice a week. After the training, I just like try to prove how good I can be in free kicks, and I try to improve and score as much as I can in the trainings, and today, I was lucky to score.

Q. You ran to David as well, do you try and beat him in training from free kicks?

Mata: (Laughing) He doesn’t stay when I shoot free kicks, he doesn’t like it. Yeah, he was very happy for me and he told me before the game, “you’re gonna score” and that’s why I ran to him.

Q. You’re second goal, that little sort of drag-back – which was your better goal – the second one or the first one?

Mata: I don’t know, they were very very different. Maybe the first one was very important because it gave us 1-0, but the second one was very special as well because we had more distance in the result. I just tried to cut, and after, score with my right foot and I could do it.

Q. Ten away wins now. When you look at that, do you think what might have been this season?

Mata: I think when we look at that, we feel that we should have done better at home, in Old Trafford. But, I think its something to be proud of – to be the best team away in the league. So lets try to win, now, at home – try to win as many games as we can till the end of the season, and try to go higher in the table.

Q. Finally, obviously a shame you can’t play this week but good preparation, I guess, for Wednesday, in terms of the confidence.

Mata: Of course. Now we are looking forward to play that game. I’m cup tied, I can’t play but I’ll be supporting from home and I’m sure that this result gives us even more confidence to go there, fight till the last minute and try to get through.

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, 5th April 2014 - Newcastle United (EPL, A)

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, 5th April 2014 – Newcastle United (EPL, A)

Post-Match Reaction of Javier Hernandez

Q. Chicha, the lads must be delighted with that, 4-0 away from home.

Chicha: Yeah, of course. We have a very good chance, the players that haven’t been involved the whole season to prove that we want to play, we want to be there – that we’re ready. Its difficult when we’re not playing too much and then give a performance like this one. The whole squad – you see players like Shinji, like me, like Juan – he’s not playing Champions League – but Antonio playing right-back, Nani comes in, and Adnan as well, so, it was a good performance for us and a good result.

Q. Well, eight changes today, so does that show the players are desperate to play on Wednesday? Everyone wants to play that one, do they?

Chicha: Yeah, of course, we are all ready and we want to offer up difficult decisions now because all of us want to play that game, and we proved that today.

Q. Juan Mata, obviously can’t play in that game, but what would you say about his performance today?

Chicha: Ah, he’s unbelievable. You can see that he’s going to be a very important player to this club. He’s showing an interest to us, because he needs to get used to the play we play, the way the manager wants us to play. I think in the past games, he did alright but the goal he scored against the last team – I think he got a lot confidence and you can see what he’s capable of – to assist, to score free kicks, to score goals – so he’s a very important, clever player.

Q. He seems to have fitted in really well – he seems to be a popular player already.

Chicha: Yeah. And as well – he’s playing in the best position for him now, that is behind the striker. I think that is where he feels more happy to play, to give everything and to help the team. Yeah, of course, he’s a very important player for us and like him, and like all of us – we want to play more and to be ready.

Q. Well, you got another goal today. You got one last week, how do you think you’re playing?

Chicha: Yeah, good thankfully. Its been a very hard season for me but I’m trying to be very patient and to work and to try and speak on the pitch. Yeah, right now, thankfully, I have 11 starts and I have 9 goals at the moment – so, I’m gonna keep working and I’m gonna keep patient and speak on the pitch, like I always do.

Q. When you scored at Old Trafford, you didn’t look that happy. You looked happier today, how do you feel you’re getting on?

Chicha: No, of course, I’m happy. I play 90 minutes – it was a long time since I’d started a game. Like I told you, I have only 11 starts this season. So, its been a very difficult season for me – the World Cup is coming. So I need to prove – if they give me 1 minute or 90 – I want to prove that I am ready, that I want to contribute to the team to help the team to better its position at the moment.

Q. Ten away wins now. That’s the best in the league. You look at that and you think, we should be right up there.

Chicha: Yeah, I know, I know. We need to do that, to prove that in Old Trafford – in our home, with our fans. We need to try to be like here. And I think we’re getting there. Like I told you, the whole team is ready, is trying to prove that they’re ready to play in the most important games and games like this one as well.

Q. Finally, are you hopeful for Wednesday that we can get through against Bayern Munich?

Chicha: Yeah, of course. That’s the feeling of everybody. Like I told you, the performance of today showed that we’re going to make the difficult choices for the manager for the next game.

4 Apr 14 – Newcastle United (A) Pre-Match Press Conference

David Moyes, 4th April 2014 – Newcastle United (EPL, A)

David Moyes, 4th April 2014 – Newcastle United (EPL, A)

TOURNAMENT – Barclays Premier League

MATCH – Newcastle United (Away) at St. James’ Park (Sports Direct Arena)

DATE & TIME – 5th April 2014, 14:00 GMT (19:30 IST)

Pre-Match Press Conference Transcript of David Moyes

Q. How big a statement, or even a step forward, was it against the European Champions on Tuesday?

Moyes: Well, it was a terrific performance by the players and an all-round really good night at Old Trafford. It was a special night as far as I’m concerned, maybe one of the best ever games I’ve ever been involved in in football because of the atmosphere, because of the crowd, because of the standard of the opposition, and more importantly because of the performance that the players put in. I thought that the players played really well. So, it was a good night – a bit disappointed, as I said after the game, with the result, but overall, there were a lot of good things to take from it.

Q. So when the character of this club is questioned, it can still come back, bearing in mind Manchester City and Liverpool?

Moyes: I don’t think you can ever question the character of Manchester United – its there. Its ingrained in the football club. And I believe that it’s showed its strength and it’s needed to show it at times this year. But, everybody within the club has shown that, and I thought the atmosphere of the crowd at the game was magnificent, it really was.

Q. You paid tribute to the fans on a lot of occasions when they supported you, but that was something different, that was a step up, wasn’t it, on Tuesday?

Moyes: Yeah, but I thought that was the crowd coming to see the final top 8 teams in the Champions League. They came to see the holders of the competition from the year before, they’ve had many a big game against Bayern Munich in the years gone by, so I think the supporters came there really supporting, knowing they’ve been involved in some immense games against Munich in the past and in a lot of ways, hopefully they got that in the game.

Q. The players do feed off of that, don’t they? I mean the first half, in a lot of situations, they were almost the 12th man for the team, weren’t they?

Moyes: Yeah. It was obviously going to be the case. It was going to be a tough night for us, but I think the crowed were buoyed by the  commitment the players showed and tactically, we had to be good on the night because we were playing against a really good team. And, I think most people inside the ground understood what was required in the game, and I think they appreciated the efforts of the players.

Q. The stats even come into it – the people said it the next morning, they didn’t expect you to get a result, but you got a result. And they said, okay 26% possession but you’ve still got a tie.

Moyes: Yeah, that’s right. And if you said to me before the game, what would be a good result? I didn’t want to concede a goal, 0-0 might have been better than one each, but overall, it was always going to be… Bayern are a good side, they keep a lot of possession, we’re well aware. That’s what we knew exactly, and that’s why on the night, we got quite a few things right.

Q. But is the style of what you’re doing an evolution? Bearing in mind that there’s a transfer window coming in the summer, and you’re still probably getting to know a few of the players.

Moyes: Yeah, I think Bayern, being European champions and with their style, ideally you’d want to play as close to that style as you can get. But to do that, I mean they’ve got some magnificent players that they’ve had at the club for so long. A lot of German players who’ve been brought up through their system, so I really think they’ve got an awful lot in place there, and they’ve built on it over recent years.

Some Quotes from the Manchester United Twitter Stream

1 Apr 14 – Bayern Munich (H) Post-Match Reaction

David Moyes, 1st April 2014 - Bayern Munich (UCL, H)

David Moyes, 1st April 2014 – Bayern Munich (UCL, H)

TOURNAMENT – Champions League

MATCH – Bayern Munich (Home) at Old Trafford

DATE & TIME – 1st April 2014, 19:45 GMT (2nd April 2014, 01:15 IST)

RESULT – Man Utd 1 – 1 Bayern Munich (Vidic 58′, Schweinsteiger 67′)

Post-Match Press Conference Transcript of David Moyes

Q. David, it was a terrific night of European football. What was your emotion at the end of it?

Moyes: Well, disappointed that we didn’t pick up all three… (laughs) points! No, pick up a victory. I thought we deserved it with our performance. But, really pleased with how the players had played. We had to defend well, but we made opportunities and it was a good night just but for giving the goal late on.

Q. In terms of work rate and resolve, I suppose you couldn’t have asked a lot more from your side, could you?

Moyes: No, I thought they were excellent – I mean from the start to the finish, we were very good. We knew it was going to be hard because they were going to have possession – they’re a really good side. But, we kept our discipline, kept in the right places, tried to do the right things, so often as we could, and we knew we would get opportunities to score, the way they played, and I thought that we could maybe cause them some problems and we did. But unfortunately, we got one or two chances and we didn’t quite finish them off.

Q. Particularly in that first half, Danny had one disallowed actually – possibly harshly and also had a great chance as well in the first half.

Moyes: Yeah, I agree. I’ve not seen the one yet where he gets disallowed but they’re saying its for a high boot. I need to say it again before I can comment correctly on it. But the other one, he got through and I was thinking, ‘Go on Danny, finish it off’. But he stood big, Neuer, and I was nearly hoping, ‘Go on, put it through his legs, Danny’. It looked as if he was standing that tall, it was only going to go through his legs. But, we didn’t get it and it was a great chance for us at that time.

Q. You got the breakthrough. Was it disappointing that they equalized quite soon after?

Moyes: It was, because I felt that maybe there was another goal in it for us. We had to keep defending the way we did, and hope that they would go chasing a goal and we could maybe get the second goal. So I was disappointed we lost the goal, but in the main, we defended well for most of the game.

Q. They lost Schweinsteiger to a red card late on. I think they were disappointed with that. He’s gonna miss the second leg, Martinez’s gonna miss the second leg as well, are they important players?

Moyes: They’re all important players for them, because it limits the coach’s choices – what he can do. We’ll have to try and take advantage of it. We’re going to need to go there and play as well as we did tonight, and more – because we have to go there and win the game, or at least get a goal to put us through. So, we’ve got a lot to do, but I’m confident we can go and do that.

Q. Well finally, looking at that second leg, you’re very much still alive in this tie, aren’t you? What would be your tactics going into that? How will you approach that one?

Moyes: We need to be mindful of what we’ve got. We do need to score – we need to think about making sure we’re in the game but I think, if they score anyway, we still need to score. So, it doesn’t change an awful lot in the initial part of the game, so we’ll look into it this week, we’ll see exactly what we think we need to do and prepare ourselves for the game.

31 Mar 14 – Bayern Munich (H) Pre-Match Press Conference

TOURNAMENT – Champions League

MATCH – Bayern Munich (Home) at Old Trafford

DATE & TIME – 1st April 2014, 19:45 GMT (2nd April 2014, 01:15 IST)

Pre-Match Press Conference Transcript of David Moyes and Ryan Giggs

David Moyes, 31st March 2014 - Bayern Munich (UCL, H)

David Moyes, 31st March 2014 – Bayern Munich (UCL, H)

Q. David, is this one of the reasons why you took the job, a Champions League quarter-final against the holders and one of the best club teams in the world?

Moyes: Most definitely. Its a really good competition, its been very good for us so far, in my short time here. I come into it as a very inexperienced manager in the  Champions League, but we’ve done well and now, we’ve got the ultimate test in Bayern Munich.

Q. Is the pressure off you and the players in a sense with Bayern Munich being the holders obviously expected to win, is the pressure off you and more on them?

Moyes: I think the pressure is equally balanced because we want to win the game as much as Bayern Munich do. We go into the game knowing that on our day, we are as a good a side as any. We’ve got to show it more often than we have done, but I’ve got great belief in the players – I’ve said that from day one and it hasn’t changed. I get the feeling that they all want to play, the players want to play. Even I can tell in the training by their attitude – they’re saying this is a big game and they all want to play in the big games, that’s what, over the years, players here have wanted to do.

Q. How is Rafael da Silva, is he ruled out? How do you see the battle with Robben and Ribery given that Alexander Buttner will be playing left-back probably instead of Evra? 

Moyes: Well, we have defensive issues, undoubtedly. I won’t be giving out my team today, certainly not to Bayern and certainly not to you either. But we will , as everybody’s well aware, have to make one or two changes.

Q. What do you make of Bayern, David, as a side and what makes you think that you can combat them?

Moyes: Well, Bayern were a very good side last year – won the Champions League and had a good team. And  they’ve looked to try and add to that again this season – new manager. And they’ve continued – we can congratulate them on winning the Bundesliga, and they’re probably the side where most people have looked to recently. We’ve got to go into the game knowing that we have to try and come here, get a good result in the first leg if we can to take it to Germany. And we’ll try and do that.

Q. David, do you see this as a game with the first leg coming here, that you take the game to them and you play an attacking kind of football to try and take something to Germany?

Moyes: Well, its an obvious thing to say but it’s a two-legged game and we have to make sure that the two legs are important, both games. So we have to be mindful that we want to go to Germany with every opportunity of getting through. I think in the first leg, there’s always a little bit of cautiousness, but I think in the end, we’d love to go to Germany with a victory under a belt. If we can do that, it’d set us up nicely for a result.

Q. David, how do you view the tactical battle between you and Guardiola? Because this guy’s won Champions League, the Bundesliga, La Liga. He’s regarded as the best coach in the world, so how do you view the personal battle between yourself and him?

Moyes: I’m really looking forward to coming up against him – it’s the first time I’ve done so. But, I’ve got no doubt I’ll be doing it plenty of times in the future. He’s done incredibly well in the jobs he’s been in. He’s had a year to get himself ready for the Bayern job as well, which I think has helped him. And as I said before, he’s taken over a side that were really good, already the European Champions, but his record up to now has been really good.

Q. David, Shinji has quite an incredible record against Bayern Munich. He played 4 matches and 4 wins. Especially the final match, he scored one and set up one. Is that something positive for tomorrow’s match?

Moyes: Something which we’d seriously consider because Shinji’s a really important player to us, we like him a lot – he gives us something different. And, he’s certainly in our thoughts for tomorrow night’s game.

Q. David, after Arsenal played in Munich, Arsene Wenger described Arjen Robben as a great player but also a great diver. Is that something you’d have to tell your players about?

Moyes: No, we trust our referees to make the right decisions, I think. I’ve faced it many times, I think diving is one of the hardest things for referees to get right. I would’ve recommended for diving, cameras are there pick that out – it would help the referees, that’s my personal view. I wouldn’t want to comment on any individual player, I think its a hard job for the referees but I think they could do with a little bit of help when it comes to that.

Ryan Giggs, 31st March 2014 - Bayern Munich (UCL, H)

Ryan Giggs, 31st March 2014 – Bayern Munich (UCL, H)

Q. Ryan Giggs, I see the game in 1999 in Barcelona. What’s the difference from the Manchester team in 1999 and now 2014?

Giggs: The players, obviously, apart from myself (smiling). So obviously the players are different of both sides but the tradition and the clubs are are still the same – two huge clubs, two great histories and two football teams that play football the correct way. And when Bayern play Man United, its always great spectacle whether it be in the Champions League final or whether it be, like tomorrow, in the quarter-finals – two massive clubs.

Q. Ryan, having played many times against Bayern over the years, how does it feel to come into this game with many neutrals making Bayern clear favourites?

Giggs: Obviously, Bayern are a fantastic team, they’re the holders. And obviously. Pep Guardiola’s took over and added a few new players and they’re a very strong team. And like you say, probably, favourites in most people’s eyes. But, we’re Manchester United and we’re playing at Old Trafford and we’ve seen so many great nights, in Europe especially. So, as players, we don’t see ourselves as underdogs – we see ourselves as Manchester United playing at home in the Champions League and we can’t wait. These are the games you want to be involved in as a player, and we’ll go out there and try to win the game. Its going to be tough, but usually is in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. But, no, we’re confident and looking forward to it.