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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Ferguson backs United under Moyes

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United will come strong during the second half of the season after struggling under new manager David Moyes.

Okwonga: Sunderland, Mata and metaphors

Ferguson selected Moyes as his replacement after 26 years in charge at Old Trafford, but the former Everton boss has endured a difficult time as manager of the reigning Premier League champions, with United currently in seventh spot and 14 points off table-toppers Arsenal.

And after a third round exit in the FA Cup to Swansea and a defeat on penalties to Sunderland in midweek in the semifinals in the Capital One Cup, Moyes is under pressure to deliver a trophy in his first season, with the Champions League and the Premier League the only competitions United will be playing in for the rest of the campaign.

But Ferguson feels his former side can recover and mount a strong challenge to the end of the season.

"United can do anything. They have got that great philosophy and history, they will always do well," he told Sky Sports News. "I can watch the team whenever I want and I've really enjoyed it. I'm going as a supporter now and instead of suffering with the team, I'm suffering or enjoying it with the fans. I'm really enjoying watching the team play."

And Ferguson, who has accepted a coaching ambassador role at UEFA, believes Manchester City will be the team to stop in the Premier League, although he expects the title fight to be a close one. "This year for the first time it really looks as if five or six could be involved, so it's a great Premier League," he said.

"It's still not an easy league to win. I think the English game is the most honest and is the hardest league to win in terms of the competition you face. You can lose to anyone.

"You have to say Manchester City are playing so well, there is no dispute about that, but the teams at the top at the minute must have a big chance.

"Arsenal must have a big chance. Everyone keeps writing them off, saying they won't last, but we're into the second half of the season and they are still there. Then you've got Chelsea, Everton, Tottenham, who are starting to do well. United always do well in the second half of the season, so we've got a fantastic league and we should be proud of that."

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