Manchester United manager David Moyes has placed his trust in his players to bounce back after their worst start to a Premier League season in over a decade. After being defeated by his old club Everton in midweek, United were in ninth position in the table, 12 points off leaders Arsenal.
United’s league position is put into perspective by pointing out they were as many points off the title as they are off the relegation zone after their defeat at Old Trafford.
Moyes has backed his United players to return to winning ways, saying his squad must “stand up and be counted”. He says the transition from the long-standing Sir Alex Ferguson to his tenure was always going to result in some difficult times:
"I'm the manager of Manchester United and I think it was always going to be a bit like that," said Moyes. "It would have been the case if it was anyone else, because it's a changeover period.
"I think Manchester United supporters understand fully that it was always going to be transitional and that it will be a bumpy road at times.
"But there's a bigger picture here and we're looking at that as well. We've totally focused on winning against Newcastle and climbing the table and, if we do that, we can start looking at what's next.
"People stand up and be counted and I've no doubt they will do."
Manchester United have won just six games so far this season, losing and drawing four apiece. Without a win in three games before the trip to Newcastle on Saturday, Moyes says the recent run of form is due to a lack of consistency:
"We haven't quite had our rhythm where we've a regularity of what we are going to get. But there have been signs and if we'd have won, you'd have said we're on a great run.
"We have been on a good run - not a great one but a good one. There are points we have thrown away - all teams will say that. But I think we have given a few points away which would have made the whole thing look slightly different.
"It's just because we're a bit inconsistent in our play.”
With doubts over the fitness of striker Robin van Persie, Moyes faces a winnable set of upcoming fixtures. Starting with Saturday’s match against Newcastle, United host Shakhtar Donetsk before trips to Aston Villa and Stoke. Finally, United host West Ham on Saturday 21st December.