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United Call Caught Moyes By Surprise

posted 10 May 2013, 10:31 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 10 May 2013, 10:32 ]

David Moyes had no plans to leave Everton and pays tribute to Alex Ferguson who will succeed as Manchester United new boss.

 LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (MAY 10, 2013) (ITN) -  Manchester United manager in waiting David Moyes said he had not expected to be leaving Everton after 11 years in charge and had already begin planning for next season when the Old Trafford giants came calling this week.

In a whirlwind few days for the landscape of British football, Alex Fergusonannounced that he was to retire as United's manager after 27 trophy-laden years on Wednesday and the following day Moyes was named as his successor.

Ferguson's decision to stand aside sent shockwaves around the soccer world and dominated the sports pages this week in Britain, yet any talk of the challenge Moyes faces at United was deemed off-limits at his weekly news conference.

Everton told the media Moyes will not speak about Everton and the manager reinforced this instruction.

"I'd really respect you today if you could keep the questions solely about Everton Football Club. I am the manager of Everton Football Club and I have great respect for them. So this press conference today is about Everton," he told reporters on Friday (May 10).

The irony was not lost on Moyes when the first question came his way. "Any thoughts on West Ham?" lightened the mood and even the steely-eyed Glaswegian broke into a broad smile before discussing his final home fixture in charge of Everton against West Ham on Sunday (May 12).

While not mentioning his new club, Moyes had no qualms about describing his affection for Everton and admitted he had been ready to stay on despite his contract expiring at the end of the season and his name linked with some top clubs.

"I wasn't planning to leave Everton. My contract was running out but if you pushed me I would say my mind was swaying on staying at Everton. I had everything in place for next season, all the pre-season preparations, the chairman knew the route I wanted to keep moving us forward."

Moyes, who earned Everton a top-four finish in the Premier League in 2004-05 and also took them to an FA Cup final, said he would understand if the Goodison Park fans were upset that he has decided to accept the challenge of replacing Ferguson.

"I hope they react the way they did when I first stepped in the door. If they don't, I can understand because I'm a fan myself," he said.

"If the fans don't react well I understand because you support your team.

"I will stand in the same position I always do and the big thing is we finish the season with as many points as we can.

"I was relatively unknown coming from Preston at the time. So they were great, the way they supported me, they got behind me. The biggest thing is just to say really 'thank you' for the support they've given me. It's not normal now that a manager stays in a job for eleven years, it's less likely than it's ever been. So, I have to thank them, if I didn't have the backing of the supporters, then I am sure that wouldn't have happened."

Sixth-placed Everton play mid-table West Ham at Goodison Park on Sunday (1400 GMT) before facing Chelsea in their last game of the season at Stamford Bridge on May 19.

Moyes said he was hoping to be leaving Everton "in the best possible way" and added he will be advising Everton president Bill Kenwright about the coach to succeed him when he takes over at Manchester United on July 1.

"I could have been seated here, sacked by the club, it would have been a different story in that there's so many managers sacked. At sometime in your life, if you are a football manager, you have to leave a football club. I am hoping I am leaving this football probably in the best possible way I could do it."

He paid tribute to Alex Ferguson who recommended his fellow Scotsmman to take over from him at Old Trafford.

"It is a strange thing. I don't think anybody ever thought that this day would come where Alex Ferguson retired. I think we all thought he was superhuman. I said last week in a press conference that I thought he was a great example to everybody in the 70's. How you work, how life is changing, how we are all living longer, working longer, eating healthier, doing things that we all hope are going to give us a much longer life. I didn't know anything, the same as you people. So, he will sorely missed, I think he will be sorely missed from a lot of the managers in football."

Ferguson won 13 league titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups and two Champions Leagues in his 27-year reign at Old Trafford.