Moyes relays pitch concern in Hong Kong

Manchester United to begin last-leg of Asia tour tomorrow.

Afp July 27, 2013
New-face Wilfried Zaha saved United from the brink of a humiliating third defeat in their pre-season Asian tour, drawing 2-2 with the Japanese side Cerezo Osaka. PHOTO: AFP


Manchester United manager David Moyes admitted he is concerned about the pitch in Hong Kong, where his side landed yesterday on the last-leg of their Asia tour.

The Premier League champions play local side Kitchee tomorrow at the 40,000-capacity Hong Kong Stadium, where the playing surface has been badly affected by several days of torrential rain.

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio on Friday described it as ‘a killer pitch’, while Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas saw key defender Jan Vertonghen taken off on a stretcher on Wednesday after injuring his ankle playing there in the Barclays Asia Trophy.

Moyes said, “I do have concerns about the surface but it’s mainly due to the weather and that’s an act of God, so we can’t do anything about that.”

More heavy rain fell on Hong Kong shortly after United’s arrival and showers were forecast for today and tomorrow.

A stoppage-time goal from new-face Wilfried Zaha saved United from the brink of a humiliating third defeat in their pre-season Asian tour on Friday, drawing 2-2 with the Japanese side Cerezo Osaka.

United’s stint in Asia has also seen them play friendlies in Thailand and Australia.

Once back in Britain, United will start their Premier League season at Swansea City on August 17.

Moyes revealed that, four weeks into the job, he still did not know what his best side was.

“I’m still getting to know my players,” he told the club’s official website. “I have several players back home who I’ve not met yet because of international duties.

“I don’t have a starting XI for the Swansea game formulated in my head yet. We still have three games in Europe before the season starts. We’ll look at it then.”

New boy Zaha hopeful of playing time

Zaha’s first ever goal for the English champions has boosted his hopes for more time on the pitch.

“It felt great,” Zaha told Manchester United TV. “The goal has been coming for the last couple of games and I’m happy I finally managed to get it.

“Just playing time is all I wanted and hopefully I’ll get that in the season to come.”

At the post-match news conference Moyes said Zaha had impressed him.

“He’s had an impact in the games,” said the manager. “We just want to try and bring him along nicely.” 

Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2013.

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