Work hard in training, and the goals will come is the mantra that David Moyes is going by as Manchester United look to put their English Premier League woes behind them when they host Real Sociedad in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Manchester United manager David Moyes talks to Robin Van Persie during a training session ahead of their Champions League clash against Real Sociedad, October 22
United have hardly looked like reigning champions in the Premier League this year, and currently find themselves eight points off leaders Arsenal after just eight games.
Winning games, particularly, at Old Trafford, has been a bit of a struggle for new manager Moyes, but the Scot will be encouraged by United's last Champions League performance at home, when they beat Bayer Leverkusen 4-2.
"Obviously we want to improve results, but we also want to improve performances," Moyes said. "We've had periods of good play but not complete performances -- but we're working on it in training, trying to improve all the time and trying to make it work.
"There have been periods of excellent play, we could have scored a few more goals, but we're training hard and I'm sure the goals will start flowing soon."
United are currently joint top of Group A with four points from two matches, the same as Shakhtar Donetsk, who they drew in the last game. Moyes would have liked to have gone into the Sociedad encounter with six points in the kitty, and will not take the Spanish side, who have lost both their games, lightly.
"We'd have started even better if we'd taken all three points in Donetsk [on matchday two], but it wasn't a bad point away from home," Moyes added. "We'll keep trying to win our games. It's a great competition and it's very important to play well.
"It's also important to win your home games, which is what we'll be trying to do against Sociedad. Sociedad are in the Champions League on merit, finishing in the top four in Spain is a great achievement and we respect them for it."
Sociedad coach Jagoba Arrasate is not buying the poor start from United this season, and is aware the Old Trafford club could "explode into life at any moment."
"They've got a new coach and it always takes time to adjust," he said. "But I'm not fooled by this so-called bad start for United, as they could explode into life at any moment. We'll expect them to be at their best tomorrow (Wednesday) and to give us a very difficult game, but if that's not the case then all the better for us.
"It'll be a special night for all of us: the players, the coaching staff and the fans. But once the whistle blows we'll focus on our job -- on correcting things, urging on the players, basically doing everything we can to get the three points that'd give us a chance of getting out of the group, which is what it's all about."
Team News: Central defenders Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are "making good progress" according to Moyes, while Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley also have a chance of making the squad.
Sociedad have doubts over Golka Elustondo, while Esteban Granero is a long-term absentee.
Key men: Manchester United: Adnan Januzaj has set the Premier League alight in the last couple of games, and it might now be time to do the same on the European stage after the youngster was added to the Champions League squad.
Real Sociedad: Former Arsenal forward Carlos Vela will know a thing or two about facing Manchester United, and the Mexican international will be keen to make an impression on his return to England.
Where to watch
The game is scheduled for a 12.15 a.m. IST start on Thursday morning with live telecast on Ten Sports.
Expected lineups: Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Vidic, Evans, Evra; Fellaini, Carrick; Valencia, Rooney, Januzaj; Van Persie.
Real Sociedad: Bravo; Carlos Martinez, Mikel Gonzalez, Inigo Martinez, De la Bella; Bergara, Pardo, Vela, Zurutuza, Griezmann; Agirretxe.
Prediction: 2-0 to Manchester United
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