MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United manager David Moyes dismissed suggestions his job is under threat, saying he has the full backing of the club’s hierarchy.
United will finish the season without a major trophy if it fails to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Olympiakos in the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday.
The match comes three days after a humiliating 3-0 home loss to fierce rival Liverpool, which left United in seventh place in the Premier League and without any realistic chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
“My future has not changed one bit,” Moyes said Tuesday. “I have got a great job, know exactly the direction I want to go in.
“The biggest assurance is that (the board) let me get on with the job ... we talk about the future, we make big plans going forward. That is why they gave me a six-year contract. This is not a club that works on a short-term vision, it is a long-term one.”
Moyes said he has been in regular contact with Alex Ferguson, the man he replaced as manager in July and who recommended his fellow Scot for one of the biggest jobs in world football.
“He told me before I came in it was a difficult job but he is always here to help,” said Moyes, who added that “all the board are very supportive” of him.
Only five teams have overturned a deficit of two goals or more in the Champions League era.
Winning the Champions League looks to be the only route back into the competition next season, leaving it likely that United will miss out of Europe’s top tournament for the first time since the 1995-96 season.
Moyes, though, urged fans to keep faith in his reign despite a woeful run of seven losses in 14 games so far in 2014.
“I actually think they have seen some defeats they wouldn’t have expected and have stuck with the team throughout,” he said. “They have seen great success here in the past and will see great success again in the future.
“This club is the biggest club in the world. It might not feel it today, but it will rise again.”