LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester United’s time will come again, manager David Moyes ensured fans on Friday after writing to season-ticket holders to thank them for their support during a “difficult” season.
Last season’s Premier League champions languish in seventh place in a difficult first campaign in charge for Moyes since the Scot succeeded Alex Ferguson.
Ahead of Saturday’s lunchtime clash at struggling West Bromwich Albion (1245), who beat United 2-1 at Old Trafford in September, Moyes said it took “stronger” fans to support the club when the going got tough.
“If you are football supporter you would understand what loyalty is. If you are someone who follows a club passionately then you follow them whether it is doing badly or doing well,” Moyes told a news conference on Friday.
“I think at the moment the Manchester United supporters realise there are some changes taking place and they understand their time will come again.”
United have won only 13 of 27 league games and are in serious danger of missing out on Europe’s elite competition next season, sitting 12 points off the Champions League places.
Moyes said his players were working hard for each other.
“They know they can play better, they will play better,” he said.
”We need to get back to creating more opportunities than we have done. We’ve played quite well in games but not scored and taken our chances. Teams have maybe defended and counter-attacked and we’ve lost a goal and are having to chase the game a bit more.
”I want creativity and think the introduction of Juan Mata and his interplay with (Wayne) Rooney and Robin (Van Persie) that I’ve seen recently has helped that creativity.
“I want to make sure when the creative players aren’t getting goals, or the chances aren’t coming, we keep the back door shut and don’t concede because then we have to chase the game.”
United have not played since producing an abject display in losing 2-0 to Olympiakos Piraeus in their Champions League last-16 first leg in Athens on February 25.
Moyes said the international break has been both helpful and a hindrance as he bids to turn United’s season around.
”It’s allowed some players to get games. Darren Fletcher got a game with Scotland, Chicharito (Javier Hernandez, Mexico) and Shinji Kagawa (Japan) played too - people who have not featured as much as we would have liked.
“But certainly it’s also been a hindrance on the back of a bad performance and bad result against Olympiakos. We wanted to put that right much sooner but the way the league fixtures worked out means we didn’t have a game.”
Writing by Justin Palmer, editing by Ed Osmond