Manchester United manager David Moyes singled out his young players for special praise after watching his side concluded their tour of the Far East and Australia with a 5-2 defeat of Kitchee FC in Hong Kong.
Jesse Lingard curled home a brilliant effort to round off the win, ensuring he finished top scorer on four.
Adnan Januzaj also converted with a neat header whilst Wilfried Zaha again looked good, particularly in the first-half.
“A couple of the young lads, Adnan and Jesse Lingard, who I didn’t know as much about, did well and Wilfried Zaha, who has just joined, he has shown what he is capable of in the games he has played,” said Moyes.
“I think they will go away from the trip feeling they have contributed to it.”
Lingard and Januzaj have certainly put forward a forceful case for remaining at Old Trafford, rather than heading out on loan as almost certainly would have happened if Alex Ferguson had remained in charge.
Yet Moyes’ squad is still to take shape given he has not even met Javier Hernandez and Antonio Valencia yet, whilst skipper Nemanja Vidic and winger Nani are amongst those who missed the tour injured
The near three-week trip has been an eye-opening experience for Moyes, who now understands the global appeal of the club he has joined from Everton.
“I am taking away the great experience of my first trip with Manchester United in general and what the football club means around the world,” he said.
“I have also had a chance to get to know the players and try to settle into my new environment and for the players to get to know me as well. They have been working with a great manager for a long time a lot of them, so it is going to take time. But I have really enjoyed working with them. They have been incredibly professional.
“I can see why they are champions because of the way they conduct themselves and go about their business. I have been very impressed.”
Moyes introduced Robin van Persie to the action in Hong Kong yesterday near the end, although his star man could not add to earlier goals from Danny Welbeck, Chris Smalling and Fabio before the youngsters entered the fray. Yet Moyes is aware United go back with no new arrivals and the issue of Wayne Rooney, expected to be fit for the club’s next friendly, against AIK Solna in Stockholm on August 6, lingering.
Meanwhile Moyes has revealed that, as a young manager, he asked the Professional Footballers Association for financial assistance to help fund a fact-finding trip to the 1998 World Cup, so thirsty was he for knowledge about coaching techniques.
The new United manager has no such money concerns now. But at the time he had just taken over as Preston manager after a career in the lower leagues and did not have the cash for the expedition.
The PFA did help him out, yet the Scot still ended up sleeping in his car as he travelled across France.
“I wasn’t earning enough at the time but I was given some funding,” said Moyes.
“I hired a small car. In the end I drove round and had to sleep in the car a few nights. But I wanted to try and learn. I watched Craig Brown. I sat in the stand and watched him taking the sessions for Scotland. When I was younger I went to see AC Milan train.
“That is the kind of thing I did to try and find some more knowledge.”
Moyes also has revealed a story behind that AC Milan experience. After defeat at Goodison Park in 2011, Carlo Ancelotti — Milan coach at the time of Moyes’ visit — was sacked by Chelsea before he even got on the team bus to leave the ground.
“Carlo was in the corridor,” recalled Moyes. “I saw him and stood and talked to him. He said ‘I have lost my job and David, I am going to come and watch you training now’. It showed me even he had recognised I had been at training at AC Milan at that time. I took what he said as a big compliment.”
* United skipper Nemanja Vidic and first-teamers Antonio Valencia and Nani all made their return to action in a pre-season friendly against Crewe Alexandra last night.
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