Moyes dismisses claims Van Persie wants out

Manchester United manager also insists his side remain in the title race

Manchester United’s Robin van Persie shows his disappointment after yesterday’s defeat by Newcastle at Old Trafford, Manchester. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

Manchester United’s Robin van Persie shows his disappointment after yesterday’s defeat by Newcastle at Old Trafford, Manchester. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

 

Manchester United manager David Moyes has rejected claims by Mark Lawrenson that Robin van Persie has asked to leave the club.

Pundit and former player Lawrenson made his observation in an interview on Today FM on Friday.

Given Lawrenson knows Moyes through a connection at Preston, the comments were intriguing, even if United privately distanced themselves from them.

However, offered the opportunity to respond following Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat by Newcastle, when Van Persie returned from a groin injury after a four-match absence, Moyes was unequivocal.

“That is absolute nonsense,” said Moyes. “I don’t know what harder or tougher word I could say but that’s as good as I’ve got.”

Moyes remained hopeful of keeping the champions in the title race despite seeing his team lose 1-0 to Newcastle United, their second home defeat in four days.

Newcastle‘s win, which arrived courtesy of a neat side-footed finish from France midfielder Yohan Cabaye in the 61st minute, was the north-east club‘s first at Old Trafford in 41 years.

United were also beaten 1-0 by Everton, Moyes‘s former team, on Wednesday but Alex Ferguson‘s successor as manager refused to write off his chances of retaining the crown.

“It could have been much better,“ lamented a disappointed Moyes as his side stayed ninth in the table, 12 points adrift of leaders Arsenal.

“We were needing a goal to give us confidence...but we did not create enough.“

Asked if Manchester United were out of the title race, the Scot replied: “I stand firm that we will be very close to it and I hope we are in there or around it at the end of the season“.

Moyes, who has been in the spotlight from the moment he took over from the retired Ferguson in the close season, acknowledged the transition had been bumpy.

“We‘ve lacked a little bit of creativity at the right times, when we‘ve had a chance to make good passes we‘ve not quite made them. We‘ve lost the two games 1-0, they probably have been both slightly against the run of play,“ he said.

Asked whether he could see ‘light at the end of the tunnel‘, Moyes replied: “There will be, because it is that transitional period and it was always going to be the case.

“We‘d hoped it wouldn‘t be quite as poor as it has been in the last few games but hopefully we‘ll get that back.“

Moyes applauded the United fans and felt most of them understood the situation.

“I think they understand it is transition, it‘s the same players that were here last year as well. Obviously the manager has changed.“

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