David Moyes was effusive in his praise for Manchester United’s players after the 3-0 win at West Brom yesterday.
After a ten day break following the catastrophe in Greece, there was immense pressure on Manchester United’s players to put in a decent performance which they did by dismantling West Brom.
Given how little fight they showed against Olympiacos, it was a markedly different show at the Hawthorns and the players looked like they actually cared about the badge on the shirt which came across in their commitment on the pitch.
“I thought Robin and Wayne were excellent,” Moyes told Manutd.com.
“Mata and Adnan too, but we also needed a good defensive performance as well so, all round, I’m pleased.
“The pitch was very lively, it was drying out a little bit and it wasn’t that easy to pass the ball, but we looked much more potent going forward and looked more likely to score than we have in other games. I made the point about us trying to attack more and have better play going forward and I think we did that.”
Manchester United’s drab defeat in Athens was so poor that the travelling supporters, who had stuck by Moyes vociferously throughout the season, even began to turn. So, that sort of performance against West Brom was the perfect (and only) way to breath fresh optimism into the situation again.
As well as praising United’s front four, Moyes also hailed the partnership of Jones and Smalling who helped United keep a clean sheet for the third Premier League game in a row.
He added: “I thought Smalling and Jones played really well. Smalling was excellent by all accounts for England too, while Jones is a very good player. He’s been out for a month and we needed to try to get him some minutes as we’ve got some big games coming up. We needed to make sure he’s ready to play and they both did a great job.
“[For the first goal] it was a really good header by Phil after Rafael did good work down the right and got the free-kick. Robin’s delivery was excellent and, thankfully, Phil got across his defender and scored.”
With Liverpool at home next weekend, United desperately needed a win against West Brom to start building momentum and optimism.
Now, we’ve had three clean sheets in a row and have dominated both matches where our main front four have started in attack with Marouane Fellaini in midfield.
It means United can go into the Liverpool game with a greater degree of confidence and optimism which we will need because they are playing better football than us this year.