David Moyes admitted he was left feeling particularly “sore” to lose to his former club as Manchester United slumped to defeat in his first reunion with Everton.
But even though United, who have only taken two points from their last three games, were left 12 points behind leaders Arsenal, manager Moyes insisted the defending champions can still retain their title.
Moyes, who never won at Old Trafford during his 11-year reign at Everton, saw his former team claim all three points when left-back Bryan Oviedo scored an 85th minute decider in a 1-0 victory.
And he admitted it was especially painful to lose to them, saying: “I know they are a very good team, Everton, with very good players so you would imagine it is a sore one when it is your old team. That is the way it is.”
The Scot was treated mercilessly by Everton fans, who chorused “David Moyes is full of s***” and “you’re getting sacked in the morning”.
However, he refused to criticise them, adding: “It is not important. Everton supporters supported their team well tonight. They had to come here and make sure they got right behind their team and they did that.”
United, who have lost four league games already this season, are only ninth in the table and Moyes said: “We have got a long way to go. We will need to play some great football and win an awful lot of games in the run-in if we going to be in there and around it at the end of the season.”
Asked if they can win the title, he replied: “Yeah, I’ve got nothing to suggest anything else.”
Wayne Rooney collected his fifth caution of the domestic season and will be suspended for Saturday’s home game against Newcastle.
His usual strike partner Robin van Persie was missing for a fourth successive match and, when asked if the Dutchman will return against Alan Pardew’s side, Moyes said: “Don’t know. We have been trying to get him back for a few weeks but he is not ready yet. It is nothing desperately serious, just a groin injury.”