Premier League - Moyes: I couldn't say no

After emerging from the whirlwind that engulfed him this week, David Moyes has admitted the prospect of joining Manchester United was too big to turn down.

Reuters
Premier League - Better start at United than Ferguson is no consolation for Moyes
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David Moyes, Sir Alex Ferguson (AFP)

Rather than shy away from the glare of publicity following confirmation he will leave Everton for Old Trafford at the beginning of July, Moyes elected to face it head on.

That he did so with such dignity and humility says much about the character of the 50-year-old Scot, who will shortly be catapulted into the most high-pressured sporting situation of all.

Every word was delivered with the raw emotion of a man preparing to leave behind a place he loves.

But he does so without an ounce of regret, for the chance of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson was simply not something he could refuse.

"Things have developed very quickly," said Moyes. "It was a whirlwind and it would be completely wrong to say it was done a month ago.

"Everton Football Club is such an important thing for me. But as for turning the job down. if I am being honest, I have to say no."

Moyes, named as Ferguson's successor at Old Trafford on Thursday, said he would take questions only about Sunday's Premier League game against West Ham.

"Please note Mr Moyes will not be answering any questions on the subject of Manchester United or his appointment as the club's new manager," the press officers at the club had briefed the media.

However the focus on his future was such that Moyes had to remind journalists to ask him about the upcoming fixture at home to West Ham United. When a question about West Ham was raised, there was surprised laughter.

Sixth-placed Everton play mid-table West Ham at Goodison Park on Sunday before facing Chelsea in their last game of the season at Stamford Bridge on May 19.

Moyes said there was plenty he would miss about the club, particularly "the people I work with," before praising the fans.

"I remember my first game against Fulham, the reception they gave me, I was relatively unknown. They've been great. It's not normal now that a manager stays in a job for 11 years, it's less likely than it's ever been; without the backing of the supporters I'm sure that wouldn't have happened.

"I hope they react the way they did when I first stepped in the door," Moyes said when asked about the fans' reaction on Sunday. "If they don't I'll be totally understanding because I'm a football fan myself, but I'll be standing in the same position as I have done, and try and make sure we keep everything focused and heading in the right direction."

"Everton are progressing. Small steps a lot of the years, but I do think Everton have made progress and we're competing around fifth, sixth, seventh spot most years."

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