Man Utd: Moyes drops the nice guy act as Rio takes flack
Mata set for debut as United manager says he will not accept any more poor performances
HAVING finally made waves in the transfer market by signing Juan Mata from Chelsea, under pressure Manchester United boss David Moyes has gone on the offensive, warning his underachieving team that no-one is safe at Old Trafford as he begins a major rebuilding exercise.
Moyes has cut a folorn figure for much of the season but appears to have decided to take a leaf out of his predecessor's book and read his squad the riot act ahead of the game against Cardiff tonight, in which Mata will make his debut.
Asked about his side's weak showing so far this season Moyes announced: "I am not going to accept it. I am disappointed we are not in a much stronger position. I am disappointed with how we have played. I, ultimately, take the rap for that. But what I will do is make it right. I am going to get better players in. Unfortunately I don't think there will be more in January. But it will change."
The Guardian describes the blast as "his strongest warning yet that he is not going to tolerate any more underperforming".
He has effectively put many of the squad on probation and made it clear they will be playing not just for pride but for their Old Trafford future's for the rest of the season.
"The main recruitment drive will come in the summer," says The Times. "Which puts pressure on some of the players he inherited from Sir Alex Ferguson." reports The Times.
Among those under scrutiny is veteran defender Rio Ferdinand, who is singled out for criticism by Adrian Durham in the Daily Mail for failing to rise to the challenge when things got tough this season.
"Manchester United have desperately needed a leader this season, but Rio Ferdinand didn't even bother applying for the job," he writes, taking him to task for spending his time making "inane" comments on Twitter.
He could learn from John Terry, argues Durham. "Rio has underachieved - we should be talking about him as a leader, a captain, a rock. He should be out there setting the example for others. But it seems he has failed to convince Moyes of his value."