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Moyes rallies the troops for the derby

Ahead of Tuesday night's game against Manchester City, United's manager has struck a defiant and confident tone. By his standards, anyway.

Myriad and manifold are the ways in which David Moyes is not Alex Ferguson. The internet is perhaps not big enough to list them all. But one of the more noticeable has been press conferences: where Ferguson switched easily between patronising bonhomie, bristling contempt and white-hot fury, Moyes has consistently struck a quieter, meeker, soggier note.

Until today! Facing the nation's press in his pre-game conference, he thundered:

We we want to try and perform better in the bigger games than what we have done. It will be important for us to show the level of what we have got. I think we have got the level and we are not as far away as many people would have us and I have no doubt it will improve.

On the importance of the derby game, he roared:

We will do everything we can to win. We go out to win every game, not just the derby game. Obviously it means a lot more to the supporters and the city if you win a derby game.

And on the injuries that are disrupting United's backline and saw Michael Carrick playing at centre-back against West Ham, he blazed:

We'll do everything we possibly can to get the players back. Michael did great at centre-half.... We even considered putting [Marouane] Fellaini back there as well, so I think we've got people who can do that if we have to. We gave Patrice Evra a rest but if we have to, I think we can put him there as well and he would cope manfully.

Brace yourselves.