Moyes explains deadline-day bids

  • Last Updated: September 13 2013, 20:02 BST

David Moyes insists his deadline-day pursuit of Leighton Baines and Fabio Coentrao was an attempt to help Patrice Evra rather than push him out of the Manchester United exit door.

David Moyes: Pushed hard for Leighton Baines on deadline-day
David Moyes: Pushed hard for Leighton Baines on deadline-day

The United manager admitted today his attempts to capture Baines extended deep into transfer deadline day.

When it became obvious the move was going to end in failure, Moyes turned his attentions to Coentrao, whom Real Madrid were willing to offload.

In the end, Real's inability to secure a replacement for the Portugal defender scuppered that deal as well, meaning Evra retains his status as United's first-choice left-back.

Yet some have wondered how the France international feels about Moyes' search for alternatives in his position, and whether it underlines a lack of confidence in Evra.

Moyes is adamant that judgement would be incorrect.

"Far from it," said the Scot. "I just felt we needed to make sure we had good cover for Patrice.

"He has played brilliantly well but I hope we are going to have a season that is going to include 60 or 70 games.

"Patrice played a big majority of the games last season but I just want to make sure if he broke down I had the right people around to help me."

One of the more forceful characters in the United dressing room, it is hard to imagine Evra, veteran of five triumphant Premier League title campaigns and deputy to Nemanja Vidic as captain, staying silent about the matter.

However, Moyes says he has felt no need to speak with the 32-year-old about his status.

"I have not because he is such a good professional," said Moyes.

"He knew exactly what we were doing."

Besides, there is a brutal truth about life at Old Trafford which even Evra himself would accept.

"If you play for Manchester United there is always someone out there getting ready to take your jersey," said Moyes.

"It is up to you to fight and make sure you keep it."

Moyes has also attempted to head off any disquiet over Shinji Kagawa, who has been restricted to a seven-minute substitute appearance.

It appears a chronic underuse of a player Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp admitted to crying over when informed the Japan star was leaving for United last year.

Dortmund were believed to be interested in taking Kagawa back to Germany last month and when the 24-year-old did not even merit a place on the bench for the defeat at Liverpool last month, some United fans started to wonder whether Moyes did not rate him.

The United boss insists there is a simple explanation, which stems from Kagawa's late return to pre-season duties following the Confederations Cup and includes two trips back to the Far East since on international duty.

"There are quite a lot of players who have not featured yet," he said.

"But if you look at it most of them were late back from international duty after the Confederations Cup, then they were away for a friendly international and a long-haul flight, then they were away again for another international.

"If you look at the reasons why people haven't played, it is more to do with them not being available for that to happen."

Javier Hernandez falls into a similar category, although the chances of both the Mexican and Kagawa featuring at some stage over a four-day period that, in addition to tomorrow's Old Trafford encounter with Crystal Palace, features Moyes' opening Champions League group game against Bayer Leverkusen is increased by the likely absence of Wayne Rooney.

The England midfielder missed the defeat at Liverpool and subsequent World Cup qualifiers after requiring 10 stitches in a wound sustained in an accidental training ground clash with Phil Jones.

Rooney's stitches have now been removed but Moyes has a tricky decision to make over the forward's comeback date.

"He is in great physical shape but obviously had a cut right in the middle of his forehead which could split because the skin is very thin," said Moyes.

"But he has had his stitches out and it has knitted well.

"We just have to see where the level of risk is."

Jones and Rafael are also doubts tomorrow with ankle and hamstring injuries.

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