David Moyes has no concerns over any psychological pressure José Mourinho may try to exert, with the new Manchester United manager saying he is fully prepared should his Chelsea counterpart engage in mind games this season.
Moyes, speaking after overseeing United's 5-1 win over the A-League All Stars in Sydney, was asked if he was expecting any such ploys from the Portuguese. "If you're from Glasgow you quite enjoy those kind of things, so bring it on."
Moyes said this lightheartedly but he was also serious, and his intent to defend United's title keenly was illustrated in the professional manner of the win over the Australian side. "It was a good performance. We could maybe have scored a few more goals – we hit the post as well – and had one or two chances," he said. "I thought we stepped up and looked a bit more ready, although the temperature suited us a bit more than in Thailand."
Moyes was content with the encouraging performances throughout his side, with the goalscorers Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck and Jesse Lingard – the latter two scoring twice – all impressive.
Van Persie was making his first appearance under Moyes, having joined the pre-season tour when United reached Sydney. After seeing the striker come on as a second-half replacement and score in the 86th minute, Moyes said: "To get Robin back into the games was important, but it was also impressive that Danny got a couple of goals. I told him that he could have scored four or five, but you have to keep getting there to score and he did so.
"I have said to him that if he continues to work as hard for the team as he has been doing he will get his rewards. He made the keeper save with his feet, was a bit unlucky at other times, had some great runs and I think he showed a bit of versatility about himself.
"Jesse played well and I was hoping he would get a hat-trick. For a young boy [of 20] to get that for United would be a big thing. Not only did he play well, he worked really hard and showed a lot of maturity. It is good that I could see Jesse, Adnan [Januzaj] and Michael Keane in the second half. [Wilfried] Zaha also started his first game and he was unlucky not to score, and he showed moments that nearly got you out of your seat. That was a promising night for him."
United lined up in their familiar 4-2‑3-1 and Moyes stated that this may be his base formation as his hope is that he can be fluid in his tactics this season. "I hope my systems will be flexible, but the basis is that it forms a basic structure and we can add different types of players when the likes of Nani, Ashley Young come back," he said.
Young and Chris Smalling are due to join United in Tokyo next week, after recovering from injuries, while Nani remains at home.
Rio Ferdinand, replaced by Keane at half-time, stated that he would have picked Moyes as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor if asked to find the Scot's replacement. "We've got a manager who's very enthusiastic," Ferdinand told Sydney's Daily Telegraph. "He's young and has the desire and appetite to be successful. After the manager we had, that was very much needed and he's someone I would have chosen. He's not someone who is looking to come in for three or four years – he'd love to replicate what the last manager has done. There were people who'd have come into the job, who maybe wouldn't have wanted to be here for that amount of time. I'm sure the new manager sees this as a job for the long term."
Despite Moyes signing a six-year contract, Ferdinand knows he will have little time to settle in. "You can't get away from the fact that the fans, and us as players, expect to win," he said. "We've been used to it, so to say that the fans won't mind, that we should give the manager a bit of time to bed in, is lying. We want to win. And I am sure he is the same. He doesn't want to come in and say give me a three-year bedding in time, I can just dilly-dally and be second or third."
United now fly on to Tokyo and the third leg of the tour before finishing in Hong Kong.
Tito Vilanova's departure as Barcelona coach, meanwhile, may have implications for United's pursuit of Cesc Fábregas. United were reported to have made an improved £30m offer for the Spain midfielder on Saturday but any deal could now be delayed or even scrapped due to the search for a new coach.