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Wenger: Moyes must be given time

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger still hasn't got used to the absence of Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, as his side prepares to visit Old Trafford for the first time since the former manager's retirement.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has urged doubters to David Moyes time, saying the Manchester United boss is "handling the situation very well" at Old Trafford.

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Moyes has faced criticism after some indifferent results in his first few months at United but has been backed by the Frenchman, who takes his league leaders to United on Sunday.

"You need to give David Moyes time," Wenger said. "He has shown great competence at Everton, he needs time to get a grip of Manchester United, and you can see that in the results.

"When a guy [Sir Alex Ferguson] has been there for 26 years and goes, it takes time for the guy who comes in. It is dangerous and difficult for the guy who comes in. Moyes is handling the situation very well."

Wenger said it would be strange to go to Old Trafford and not face old adversary Ferguson -- although he will be seeing the former boss.

"Our relationship will be more peaceful now, more serene," he said. "It will be new. In the last 17 years, it was the case that he was there and yes, it will be a bit strange, but this is still a very, very important game for us."

Wenger went on to stress that it was important for Arsenal to maintain the momentum they have built up in the last couple of months.

"We came out with two good results against Liverpool and Dortmund, and consistency is very important for the future of our team," he said.

"This is still one of the benchmark [fixtures] of the season. You can draw conclusions after the game. We had periods where we did very well at Old Trafford, but we have had periods recently where we have not done so well.

"The target is to go there and win the game. After Christmas, we have been strong every season, and we need to show the resilience and hunger to achieve what we want to achieve."

The Gunners manager said both Jack Wilshere and Mathieu Flamini were in contention to play a part at Old Trafford after returning to training following recent injury lay-offs.

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