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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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David Moyes explains silent protest after cup defeat

David Moyes has revealed he chose not to address the media following Everton's Carling Cup loss against Tottenham on Tuesday because he was unhappy about his side's fixture congestion.

Having lost 5-0 at Benfica in the Europa League on Thursday and 3-2 at Bolton on Sunday, Everton's defeat at White Hart Lane marked their third away match in six days. Moyes did not attend the press conference that followed the Carling Cup game and has now revealed that it was his form of protest against the timing of that fixture.

"It would have given us an opportunity to recover the players," Moyes said. "That's the normal sort of thing you might do - play Saturday then Tuesday or Sunday then Wednesday.That would be the normal recovery time for most teams to make it relatively fair, and it wasn't fair. Tottenham had the chance to play on Saturday and we had to play on Sunday and then Tuesday.

"People have said that I'm whinging about it. I hope I'm not. When I tried not to talk about it, it wasn't to affect the media in any way. It was my only chance to put over a point which wasn't getting heard by the people who were organising the tournament.

"The hardest part was that I would have liked to have given the Everton supporters some information about the team and my feedback on the game after it, so I hope I have in no way offended them, but some way we had to try and get heard - or not heard in this case - and I thought the best way to do it was to give the competition no credit by speaking about it.

"We are trying to battle on all fronts and get an English club through in Europe, but the authorities decided it was not worth putting us on a Wednesday night."

Everton have had a difficult start to the season, with Mikel Arteta, Phil Jagielka and Phil Neville among the players to have suffered significant injuries, and the club are currently 14th in the table. Moyes remains optimistic that a home victory against Aston Villa on Saturday could turn things around, though, after draws against Wolves and Stoke in their previous games at Goodison Park.

"We're okay - obviously we're sore and disappointed that we didn't do better in the games," Moyes said. "I think there were some mitigating circumstances in it, but we don't hide behind excuses here. We take it on the chin and we get on with it. It's not been the best week but we'll do something about it. We're always looking for a good result and if it can turn your fortune then that is what we would like it to do.

"This week has not been particularly good and we were disappointed, but probably the bigger disappointment was that we didn't take full points against Wolves and Stoke at home. I think we have lost one out of five Premier League games, so it's not as if we are doing terribly bad but, obviously, we want to get in a much healthier position and I believe the players will respond."

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