David Moyes has denied that Sir Alex Ferguson’s attendance at matches is adding to the pressure on him during his tough start to life at Old Trafford.
The former United manager, who retired in the summer after winning 38 trophies during his 26 years in charge, was in the directors’ box at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday when Moyes’ team lost 2-1 to Sunderland in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semifinal.
It was their third successive defeat and, with United only seventh in the Premier League, it increases unfavourable comparisons between Moyes and the more successful Ferguson.
The 71-year-old has surprised some by attending televised away games, including matches at Cardiff, Hull and Sunderland, none remotely near his Cheshire home.
But Moyes insisted the presence of his predecessor, who sat alongside fellow director Sir Bobby Charlton and former captain and club ambassador Bryan Robson at Sunderland, is not an issue.
He said in his post-match news conference: “Not at all. I can only see Alex as a great sounding board for me, he’s there to help. So is Sir Bobby, he’s terrific. Bryan Robson is at the training ground regularly and I find the three of them terrific.”
Despite the losses to Tottenham, Swansea and Sunderland, Moyes believes United’s fortunes are about to change.
He added: “I’ve been here before and done it before and I just sense that it’s just on its verge of turning. We’re about to get a bit better.
“If you’re going to be in this job, you’ve got to win, the last few games I’ve not won, going through a difficult time, it’s part of football management. It’s never going to be an easy ride.”