David Moyes was at a loss (in more ways than one) after Manchester United were humiliated by Manchester City in the derby at the weekend.
The Red Devils manager struggled to explain how his charges were so easily swatted aside by their city rivals.
He claims to have given the players his version of his predecessor’s notorious ‘hairdryer treatment’, but ultimately was stumped as to the reasons why United suffered their second extremely painful defeat under his tenure, having already gone down to Liverpool.
Asked if had delivered a dressing room harangue of Fergie-like proportions, a dejected Moyes said after the game: "I don't know, I think it's just what I'd have done if I'd – I've been here [the Etihad] many times with Everton and don't think I've suffered a defeat like this with Everton in my time.
“So I just told the players the way I would have told players at any other club if I don't think they're doing it. They're good players, they're good pros, they know when they're bang at it and when they're not."
Next up for United is yet another clash with Liverpool in the Capital One Cup, and Moyes is adamant his players will be in better form, for what could be a heated exchange considering it is likely to coincide with the return of Luis Suarez.
“All of them [must improve] and I've made them aware of that," he said.
"If ever there was a group of players I'd expect that from it would be a group of Manchester United players. The way they have been brought up, the way they have been bred with the manager previously. They react, that's what they do, and that's what we'll do here. We'll make sure we react. Every manager has bad results. I'm no different."
When Moyes was appointed, it left many United supporters cold.
The club was urged to give him time, and promised to do so. But statements like “I’ve never lost like that with Everton” will hardly do him any good as he settles into a job that should be easy, but in truth is anything but that.
Moyes may never have lost so heavily at the Etihad before, but he also did not win there frequently either.
And the less said about his track record at Anfield, the Emirates and Stamford Bridge the better. Perhaps his only saving grace in an hour of darkness is that he cannot lose again to Manchester United this season!