The eve of a showdown with Liverpool is probably not the best time for a Manchester United manager to warn that "a few more blows” are still to come, especially considering the Red Devils have lost once to their biggest rivals this season already.
But ahead of Liverpool’s visit to Old Trafford in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night, David Moyes has admitted that while he settles into the job, United may have to suck up more painful defeats like their 1-0 loss at Anfield early this season, and last week’s humiliating mauling in the Manchester derby.
What’s more, Moyes has hinted that he agrees that United were crowned champions least season in large part due to the poor quality of their opponents, and not because they had swept aside all before them like in the past.
"I think a lot of people thought Manchester United [winning the title] last season, that it was probably the form of the other teams that was poor," Moyes said, attempting to contextualise the club’s topsy-turvy start to their title defence.
"I've taken the punches and I'm happy to do that. Not for a minute did I think this Manchester United job was going to be an easy job. There will be days like we had on Sunday and there might be more of them because we are in a period where there will be transition, there's a new manager for the players and, in turn, there will be new players,” Moyes added.
"It does mean I may have to take a few more blows, definitely. Maybe even more than that. Maybe all season I have to take a few blows but I knew this was going to be the case because I was taking over from a great manager and it was always going to take time for me to get my own ways and change things round a little bit."
Moyes admits that he was “shocked” by how poorly United played in losing against City, but he is adamant that such a display will ultimately prove to be the exception, and not the norm.
But if he had hoped to be able to call on star striker Robin van Persie for the showdown with Liverpool, Moyes has been disappointed.
The Dutchman has failed to recover from the groin injury which kept him out at the Etihad, and he is now only rated as an “outside chance” to play at the weekend against West Brom in the league.