Jan 18, 2014

Moyes aims to bridge the gap

David Moyes says victory in Sunday's encounter with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge could "set up a really good 10 days" for his Manchester United side.

The Reds boss is looking forward to the trip to West London on the back of five wins in six Barclays Premier League matches and, despite trailing third-placed Chelsea by nine points, beating Swansea last weekend to halt a run of three consecutive defeats in three competitions was a morale-boosting shot in the arm.

"There's a chance it could set up a really good 10 days [if we beat Chelsea]," Moyes told reporters at the Aon Training Complex. "We won against Swansea, we've got a cup tie on Wednesday and could find it's an important 10 days. Going to Chelsea is a big game and I'm looking forward to it."

Chelsea have a formidable home record, winning nine of their 10 matches at Stamford Bridge on league duty this term, drawing the other. Moyes is well aware of the task against Jose Mourinho's men. Precisely what impact victory would have on United's league season is hard to pinpoint, but it could only be positive.

"In the position we're in right now, it'd be wrong to say something which I couldn't either back up or justify," added Moyes. "I'm more keen on winning the next game and the longer it goes, the more I'll be able to start thinking about further down the line. But I'm always thinking about the top [of the table] and not anything else.

"This is a big game for us to hang in there and we have to try to pick up points. There are a lot of games still to play. The recent league form has not been that bad and we should not have lost against Tottenham."

United and Chelsea drew 0-0 at Old Trafford in August, with neither side giving anything away so early in the campaign. But how will this clash pan out? "It will be a tight game," says the Reds boss. "Chelsea are improving and have started to find a balance with their forward players. They've got some really talented players like Oscar and Eden Hazard behind the striker they choose to play. They have got good players and a talented team.

"Chelsea have shown over the years they're strong at Stamford Bridge and we need to go there and make sure we're hard to play against. We need to make it a difficult day for Chelsea like they made it a difficult day for us at Old Trafford – I felt we deserved a goal but couldn't find one on the day."

In United's last meeting with one of the league's pacesetters, a 1-0 win over Arsenal at Old Trafford in November, the Reds produced a gritty, purposeful performance, and Moyes believes his men will be equally up for this battle.

"The team here has been used to big games over the years and I don't think I see this one any differently. It was a tight game at Old Trafford at the start of the season and there is a good chance it could be much the same. Jose has a great record at Stamford Bridge, so we need to try to change that."

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