United 'hurting' but still defiant
MANCHESTER United manager David Moyes insists his team still believe they can trouble the English Premier League's best sides despite their miserable start to 2014.
Not including their extra-time League Cup match against Sunderland, United have won just two of their eight matches since the turn of the year following Sunday's 2-2 draw with bottom club Fulham.
They are nine points adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool and travel to Arsenal tomorrow, hoping to get their push for a Champions League place back on track.
Despite failing to beat minnows like Swansea, Stoke, Sunderland and Fulham since the start of the year, Moyes maintains he still has confidence in his players.
He said: "We just go into the next game and take the teams on and challenge them.
"We've got a good team and there will be very few teams desperate to play Manchester United.
"The players are hurting. I can see every day that they're hurting because the results aren't going the way they want.
"They're really good professionals in the way they go about their work and what I see in training makes me feel they'll get results."
Steve Sidwell gave the Cottagers the lead in the 19th minute at Old Trafford and United struggled to hurt the league's cellar dwellers despite dominating possession and camping around the visitors' area.
They finally made the breakthrough when Robin van Persie tapped in from Juan Mata's cross with 12 minutes left and Michael Carrick scored with a deflected shot just over a minute later.
But after David de Gea could only push Kieran Richardson's shot into the air, Darren Bent headed in Fulham's equaliser in the fourth minute of added time.
The good news for United is that they are not the only team seeking redress in midweek. Arsenal went into the weekend as leaders, but a 5-1 thrashing at Liverpool on Saturday cost them the top spot and raised serious doubts about their title credentials.
The Gunners' slip-up allowed Chelsea to take over at the summit and Jose Mourinho's team could pull four points clear if they win at West Bromwich Albion today.
Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes that United's visit represents an ideal opportunity to right some wrongs.
"We are very disappointed, especially with the first half," he told the Arsenal website. "We know we are better than that, so in that sense, we are gutted.
"It is our responsibility to turn that around and we have a great opportunity on Wednesday night."