David Moyes is looking to mastermind a Sunderland win over Manchester United after revealing his disappointment over his Old Trafford spell lasting just 10 months.
The 53-year-old returns for the first time since being sacked less than a year after he replaced Sir Alex Ferguson.
Those considerable shoes were always going to be hard to fill and Moyes admits even the great man himself might have struggled!
Moyes feels he should have been allowed more time to rebuild the squad he inherited ahead of his return with Sunderland.
He isn’t worried about the reception he may receive from the Old Trafford faithful as he looks to build on the 1-0 win over Watford.
“Being there was a great honour. I was thrilled to be given the chance to manage the club,” said Moyes.
“Unfortunately, it was too short, but I go back as Sunderland manager and will go back to try and get three points and win the game.
“Anybody who took over from Sir Alex – maybe even if Sir Alex had taken over – would have found it tough!
“That is because of the nature of it, whoever was in charge it would be the same.
“I was disappointed to only get 10 months. It was a job I hadn’t worked towards, but I had worked hard at Everton – I had been offered lots of other jobs that I had turned down.
“The Manchester United job came up and I felt as if it was the right thing to do, especially because of their history of employing British managers, also for giving managers time to get it right too.”
When asked if he was worried about the reception he might receive, he added: “I don’t think it bothers me that much.
“I am a football supporter as well as a football manager, you can never tell what will happen but I always found I got great support inside Old Trafford, contrary to what people think. I had very few problems inside the stadium.”
Moyes said Sunderland should take inspiration from the levels of quality within the Manchester United ranks.
“I know most of the players, I don’t know them all because of the new signings,” added Moyes.
“They are at an incredible level of professionalism, their players.
“They are at an incredible level in terms of quality and ability that they produce. I had a great opportunity to see what it looked like to be at that club, at the top.
“In the message I am passing onto the Sunderland players, there is another big step to come if you want to be at the very top – we have a few big steps to take still.”
Sunderland have performed well on the road this season, competing well at Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool despite having little to show for their efforts against the top six sides – so far.
“Away from home, we have actually done quite well,” said Moyes.
“The games have been tight – we were close at Liverpool, at Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
“Every game is different. Manchester United pose different threats to what Liverpool and Spurs do.
“We want to go there and try and get a result, to win the game and to put Manchester United under enough pressure to get some goals from it.”