David Moyes has warned that Manchester United face the prospect of more painful defeats while he beds in, after they were embarrassed by Manchester City last weekend.
But having lost to their biggest rivals Liverpool once this season already, it would have been asking far too much of the Red Devils faithful to accept another defeat to them last night.
And so it was with a major sense of relief that the embattled new United boss celebrated their close-run, 1-0 Capital One Cup victory, over the men from Merseyside.
It was not the most convincing of results. United’s soft goal came from a defensive lapse by Liverpool, and had Luis Suarez’s free-kick gone in and not struck the bar, and Jordan Henderson and Kolo Toure not squandered clear-cut chances, Moyes would be in a muddle this morning.
But a win is a win, and United’s haggard Scot, mark II, remains infused with belief that he has what it takes to make them champions again.
And despite his shaky start at Old Trafford, the record books say that Moyes has now actually enjoyed the best start to a managerial career at United since the legendary Matt Busby.
"Everyone seems to be picking a stat out about me at the moment but that is a good one," he said with a rare smile last night. "I have not had that many."
Asked if he is upset by the recent criticism he has endured, Moyes added: "It is not frustrating because I will sort it. I will fix it. I will turn it around. I have got no doubt about that.
“What have I learned? We know we have to improve. I am still getting to know the players. They are a really good team, they won the Premier League last year, but we need to make sure we improve."
"There was certainly some relief as it was a big day for us,” he continued.
“We lost at Anfield a few weeks ago, we lost at the Etihad last week, so we wanted to put that right. I thought it was a really good game, an exciting game of football from both teams.
"What was important was that the whole club showed we were hurt by the game on Sunday. We did not perform to our levels. But they have gone out and the players have done a great job to get us a big result. I am really pleased with them."