GARY PALLISTER believes David Moyes should be given more time to settle into his new role as Manchester United manager despite a poor start to his reign.
The former United centre-half, who represented the Red Devils with distinction under Sir Alex Ferguson between 1989 and 1998, feels that the Capital One Cup is now an important target for Moyes after his side were dumped out of the FA Cup against Swansea on Sunday.
United are in seventh place in the Premier League, 11 points off leaders Arsenal, but Pallister believes that silverware in the form of the Capital One Cup would represent success for Moyes in his maiden season at Old Trafford.
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“Basically it is the same players who won the title at a canter last year, so it has been weird to be at Old Trafford seeing us lose the amount of games we have this season,” said Pallister, who made 317 appearances for United, winning the Premier League, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup before joining Bryan Robson’s Middlesbrough in 1998.
“We are certainly not used to it. Everyone has to take responsibility for it. The fans have been pretty good and Sir Alex asked for patience and to give Moyes the time to settle in. To understand what Man United is all about and understand the environment and what it means around the world - you'd be naive to think it would happen overnight and that it would be a seamless transition.
“Because of the start to the season and because it is a new manager in charge it would be ideal if United got to a final and won a trophy. It probably is as important as it has ever been for a long, long time.
“If they win this competition it will be a successful first season for David Moyes. A piece of silverware and you can look at each other and say yes we have had success.
“David Moyes is not going to lose his job if they lose this game or any time soon. We have people who understand what happens behind the scenes and what a big change it has been.”
United travel to Sunderland tonight in the first leg of the semi-final, and Pallister believes that the Black Cats will go into the game without any fear, having already played well against United in front of a home crowd so far this season.
“Sunderland will look at this game and thing the team has lost a bit of that fear factor,” said Pallister. “Sunderland had a great hour against United here in the league and they will be looking to follow that up with a similar kind of performance and the fans will be up for a big semi final. Gus Poyet will be hoping the players thrive on that.”