David Moyes has urged Manchester United’s younger central defenders to show their credentials in the remaining matches of the season as he assesses a changing of the rearguard at Old Trafford.
With club captain Nemanja Vidic set for pastures new in the summer, it feels like the end of an era at the heart of the Reds’ defence, but it’s also the start of a new one. However, Moyes said United must collectively show an improvement on the defensive display against Everton on Easter Sunday.
“We couldn’t score but we should have defended better, because we gave Everton two goals,” the United manager told MUTV. “We’ve got boys who need games. We’re trying to make sure that Phil Jones and Chris Smalling get game time, but they’ve got to step up to the challenge, we can’t afford to give goals away.”
Sunday's match brought the return of another contender to take over Vidic’s duties next term, Jonny Evans, who played for the first time in almost two months following a foot injury. The Northern Ireland international started but was substituted after an hour with Moyes admitting, “We always knew there was a chance Jonny might not finish the game, because he’s had a problem with the sole of his foot.”
Whoever starts the next match at home to Norwich, one thing is clear - the manager wants to build a morale-boosting victory on a solid defensive base. "We want to finish by winning all of our games," he said. "We’ll do everything we possibly can to make that happen."