Manchester United boss David Moyes full of respect for Norwich City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
David Moyes admitted his depleted Manchester United side had to show battling qualities better associated with his legendary predecessor to hold Norwich City at bay.
The champions withstood a first half onslaught from the Canaries before grinding out a priceless away win through Danny Welbeck's 57th minute goal in a performance that bore all the hallmarks of Sir Alex Ferguson's Old Trafford tenure.
'The job at Manchester United is to win games and to find a way to win and we did that here,' said Moyes. 'I have to say I thought Norwich were excellent. The biggest thing that I noticed was how well Norwich reacted to their result against Fulham the other day.
'They put in a great performance for their manager. The crowd were right behind them too and I'm realising that a lot of teams raise their game when Manchester United come to town. Overall we kept going, kept at it and got our rewards in the end.
'To win two away from home over Christmas takes a lot of doing because we have had a few injuries and a lot of our key players out. It was great to get the victory, although we didn't play particularly well in the first half. In the first 10 minutes I thought we did well but then we lost our way a little bit.'
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Moyes was indebted to his half-time substitute Welbeck's clinical intervention after profiting from Ryan Bennett's blocked clearance.
'His goal obviously won the game but I thought his performance did as well,' said Moyes. 'Danny has been playing very well and came on to make the difference. He played really well at Hull the other day as well but I just felt he looked a bit fatigued and it would be better not to start him.
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'We would have started him, but he has played a lot of games. We are trying to make sure that we give the squad the right opportunities to play and make sure we give them all chances to show what they can do.
'If you look at Danny now, he is a big part of Manchester United. He's a really good player. What he needs to become now is a really good finisher. He did that here where he showed a lot of composure to round the goalkeeper. He was perhaps unlucky with another one not to get a finish away there that came to him at the back post from a cross.'
Moyes opted not to risk Wayne Rooney who was suffering with a niggling groin injury. Rooney joined longer term absentee Robin van Persie on the sidelines, but the England international is poised to return for Tottenham's New Year's Day visit.
'Wayne has got an abductor injury in his groin which kept him out of the Stoke (League Cup) game,' said Moyes. 'Ideally we would like to give it a bit longer than three or four days between each game, but we are not getting much time at this point of the season. Robin has started some light training and he might not be too far away. We've not had them as a partnership very often, and we are looking forward to seeing them together.
'We needed the squad. We have a big squad here and a good squad. If you are going to win games away from home then you are going to need them to do their job, and we are going to need them in the coming games as well.
'I am delighted with how we are doing and we want to keep it going, but I don't think it is anything to shout about in terms of the league and our current form. This is just a brilliant three points.'