Manchester United boss David Moyes claims not to be feeling the pressure of playing at Old Trafford, as he tries to prevent the club from losing three-straight home league matches for the first time since 1979.
Defeats to Everton and Newcastle United this month represented the lowest point yet of the difficult start to Moyes’s reign. Yet, after away wins against Aston Villa and Stoke City, Moyes is positive about the chances of getting a victory back in front of United’s own fans when West Ham visit on Saturday.
“I have never found Old Trafford nervy, I have not found it that way at all,” he said, according to Manchester United’s official website.
“In fact I have found it the opposite, I think it’s a brilliant place to be,” the boss added.
“I have found that the support from the crowd is fantastic, and they are right behind the team. Obviously we have got to win and score a few more goals, so we will try and do the best we can.”
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With Robin van Persie still ruled out, Danny Welbeck is likely to again be entrusted to lead United’s attack. The England international scored his first goals in the Premier League since the opening weekend of the season when netting twice against Villa last week. And the player who has often being deployed out wide is eager to take advantage of his opportunity playing through the middle.
“Obviously it is not my decision about where I play,” he said, reports the club’s website. “As I have said plenty of times before, I am happy to play for Manchester United in any of the attacking positions.
"Unfortunately, Robin has got injured, and I might have a chance up front so I am looking to score some goals for United while playing as a center-forward. I want to score plenty more goals and I have got a figure in mind.”
West Ham also come into the match after securing their place in the last four of the Capital One Cup and the contest at Old Trafford could yet prove to be a dress-rehearsal for the final at Wembley. A 2-1 victory at Tottenham on Wednesday provided a welcome relief from the side’s recent struggles, but lying just one point above the relegation zone they badly need to get wins in the Premier League. Manager Sam Allardyce is hoping the come-from-behind victory over their London rivals can help improve the players’ mindset heading to Old Trafford.
“Players play to win and when they win they feel so much better, life is so much better for them,” he said, according to West Ham’s official website. “We've not won as many games as we should have done in the Premier League and that's left everybody a little down. When you win such a game as at your local rivals, who are such a big club these days, then it does lift everybody but you must use and take that into the next game and make sure you deliver the same performance again.”
West Ham will welcome back defender James Tomkins, who has recovered from a groin injury. Andy Carroll remains on the sidelines, alongside Winston Reid, Stewart Downing, Ricardo Vaz Te and Mladen Petric. Kevin Nolan is still suspended.
For United, Moyes confirmed that Nani will be out but that Wayne Rooney has a chance of being involved after missing the clash with Stoke with a groin injury. Alongside Van Persie, Michael Carrick remains on the sidelines, but there are set to be late fitness tests on Nemanja Vidic and Marouane Fellaini.
Where to watch: The Barclays Premier League match will kick off at 10 a.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by NBC’s Premier League Extra Time, with a live stream available on NBC Sports Live Extra.