Manchester United “easy to play against” claims Fulham manager
The Red Devils suffered another poor result on Sunday, with Darren Bent scoring a late equaliser at Old Trafford
February 10th, 2014
Manchester United remained seventh in the Premier League table after failing to beat a Fulham side that had previously lost nine times on the road this season, with the Cottagers coming into the game off the back of an FA Cup upset at the hands of Sheffield United.
David Moyes’ team fell behind to an early Steven Sidwell goal, although strikes from Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick looked to have given the champions an important win before Bent nodded home in injury-time to rescue a point for Fulham.
Rene Meulensteen had hatched a game plan which consisted of defending deep and thwarting the opposition, something which worked pretty well until United found the breakthrough and the visiting manager claimed that the champions were predictable in their tactics.
He said: “When I saw Manchester United today I thought the game plan was quite straightforward – get it wide, get it in, whether it was from the full-back pushing on or the supporting wide man and midfielder.
“You need a little bit of creativity and a bit of variety at times to open [teams] up. The first goal they scored was from a ball that was in a second phase, fell and was a sort of pass across the goal that got tapped in. And the second came from a clearance then a shot and a deflection.”
Moyes admits that he faces a daunting task when it comes to restoring fortunes at Old Trafford, describing Fulham’s second goal as “diabolical” and admitting that the 2-2 draw was “as bad as it gets” for his team.
“Today was as bad as it gets. How we didn’t win, I have no idea. It’s goals that count. You can have as much possession as you like.”
“I agree. Quite often you’ve seen similar games here where we have been the better team by far, the opposition have got a goal from a set-piece or on the break and then we’ve been chasing it, but we thoroughly deserved to win the game.”
Moyes claims that there is a fair degree of mental softness within the United team at the moment although denied that the tactics were one-dimensional.
He said: “Even when it was 2-1 and they put five minutes [of added time] up Fulham never came up the pitch, they left us with the ball. So it was nearly a case of just playing out time and we gave away a diabolical second goal. If we had one failing it was that we should have gone to win 3-1. You could use maybe mental softness that we didn’t see the job out and get the job done. I would agree with that.
“It was never one way,” he said. “If you’re just going to look at the stats and think about the crosses you need to think about the number of passes and I don’t think we just went out and crossed the ball. Some people might say that one of the things that Manchester United do is play with width and cross the ball, that’s in the genes here.”