DEFEATED Manchester United manager David Moyes conducted himself with great dignity in the wake of a shattering Capital One Cup semi-final defeat which leaves his hopes of winning silverware in his debut season at Old Trafford in tatters.
Unlike his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson, who never deigned to meet the Press post-match in his final few years, Moyes was man enough to face the media on as testing a night as he’ll have known in his 15 years as a manager.
And to his credit, he did not blame referees, lack of time added on, or the opposition’s tactics for the Red Devils’ humbling cup exit to gallant Sunderland.
“We didn’t play well, and I didn’t think, over the course of the match, we did enough to win it,” he admitted.
“I thought we might have been there when we scored that last-minute goal, but it wasn’t to be and I’m disappointed.
“We had a few chances to win it, but we didn’t take them and you’ll always risk paying the price if you do that.”
Moyes accepted that without figures like the suspended Nemanja Vidic and the injured Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Rio Ferdinand in their side, United lacked that bit of experience and composure when it was needed – never more so than in a penalty shoot-out in which the home side were abject.
“Ideally, we would have had a different group of players taking the penalties had they still been on the pitch,” he shrugged..
“But at least the players who stepped up took responsibility.
“We just didn’t play well enough on the night.
“We weren’t trying to hang on to the game, we were trying to win it.
“And the players were fine mentally, a bit disappointed with the defeat at Chelsea, but there wasn’t much in that game.
“We brought in a few new players to freshen it up and got a goal from Jonny Evans but didn’t get over the line.
“Confidence is, of course, an issue at times like these – we had a few chances to finish it off but wouldn’t take it.
“Looking back, I think there have been other games where we have not got the results we deserved.
“But, in this particular game, I didn’t think we played well enough to expect to go through.
“A lot of games we haven’t got what we deserved but maybe in this game we did.”