David Moyes has warned it could take him two years to put his stamp on Manchester United after succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson as manager. The Scot is confident that the Glazers, who own the club, have the patience to allow him to do so.
Moyes, who takes charge of his first league game at Swansea City on Saturday evening after a difficult summer in the transfer market, said: "It might take me 18 months to two years to get things changed around. I don't know how long Sir Alex thought it took him to get it the way that he wanted. At a club like Manchester United I will get the opportunity to do that."
United beat Wigan Athletic 2-0 to win last Sunday's Community Shield but Moyes felt no pressure due to the Glazers. "Yeah, there was a trophy at stake. But did I really feel under great pressure? Not really because the difference is I have really good owners who don't panic," he said.
"It might not be like that at other clubs. It would not have affected our owners whether we had won, lost or drawn because we have stability. We know where we are going and how we work. We don't work in a way that every time there is a defeat there is a panic on. Or, if we don't quite reach expectations, then that's something to really bother yourself with. Obviously I am aware of the job and the job is to continue the success of the club.
"They [Glazers] have been fantastic in their calmness, their openness, their support, where they want to take the club. What they want to do with the club is incredible, it really is. They see the stability and continuity as really important – so one-off results you are talking about is not really interesting to them."
Moyes believes Ferguson will be a "great mentor" to him, with the 50-year-old revealing that immediately on becoming manager they discussed the make-up of the team and future plans. He also admitted that the adjustment when taking over from Ferguson extended to using the 71-year-old's office.
"Sitting in the chair for the first time felt odd. I did it myself with nobody looking. I thought I would have to see how it feels in case anybody thought I looked stupid," said Moyes, who is still conscious of the presence of Ferguson, now a director, at the club. "I still go into the office and feel ... Look, Sir Alex is still here and he will be. I went to see him at home the other day. He was great. He is recovering from his hip operation.
"I will use him for advice. He will be a great mentor for me. I am really looking forward to speaking with him. I have probably had half a dozen conversations with him already. It is going to be very hard for anybody to get close [to Ferguson's record]. I have worked hard to get to this position. I worked hard at Preston. I worked hard at Everton and I am going to work hard to maintain Manchester United at the top of the league."
Asked what advice Moyes has taken from Ferguson so far, he said: "I don't think I have gone there for any advice. I have gone there and said: 'This is how things are going. What are you thinking?' He is going to be someone who is around and I want him to be around. On the first day I met him we had discussions about the team within an hour. Within the first 10 minutes of talking, and him telling me I was getting the job, we had already had discussions about the team and what would have to be done and what was expected, like sponsors, media, all the things that come from a big club. He would expect me to do the job myself."
Moyes is aware that, with Ferguson still involved, comparisons will be made with Matt Busby's resignation in 1969. He continued at United, becoming general manager as Wilf McGuinness took over, with Busby's presence considered to have overshadowed his tenure and that of Frank O'Farrell, who was manager later.
"I have not spoken to Wilf but the point you make is a good one," said Moyes. "I have to take over from someone who – I will not be better than him. But the club has to keep moving forward and progressing. Yes, there have to be managers at the club, there have to be changes. Yes, I am a rookie at Manchester United but I am not a rookie overall. I hope I am able to show that as the season progresses."
Moyes joked about managing a side famous for winning when behind in the closing moments. "Yes, you are right. That's why there is a government health warning that comes with this job."
Wayne Rooney has again been given the No10 shirt for the season, as expected, with United clear he will not be sold despite the unhappy forward wanting to leave.