United fans still back me, says Moyes

(Reuters) - Disgruntled Manchester United fans unhappy with the club's dismal season are entitled to protest but the large majority are still fully behind manager David Moyes, the Scot said on Friday.

United's mini-revival in a difficult first campaign for Moyes came to a shuddering halt with a 3-0 home derby defeat by Manchester City on Tuesday.

A United fans' blog have claimed that unhappy supporters are threatening to hire a light aircraft to tow a banner over Old Trafford during the game against Aston Villa on Saturday calling for Moyes to go.

"I've heard about it," Moyes told a news conference on Friday.

"It's a long journey here, and this is only the start of the journey. People can do that (protest) and obviously they are entitled to do that."

Moyes said most United fans understood the club's situation as he looked to re-build following the years of success under the now retired Alex Ferguson.

United are seventh in the Premier League and unlikely to qualify for Europe unless they cause a major upset and win the Champions League. They face holders Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals with the first leg at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

"I'm driven to succeed more than ever because obviously I want the team to turn it around. I want to change this position we are in and really do believe we can do that. We have a great club... but it's going to take a bit of time to get sorted," Moyes said.

"Everywhere I go I get great support from Manchester United supporters. I'm witnessing great support inside the ground, great support from the people I bump into outside the ground.

"There is a rebuilding plan underway... anybody that has actually got an understanding of the game understands that will happen.

"The people who put me in place in the job here are top football people, who understand the game and know exactly what is required at Manchester United and know exactly the sort of the characters we need at the club to run the club."

Moyes said United players were "hurting" from the City defeat and "want to show that against Villa" on Saturday.

Overcoming a first-leg defeat to knock Greek champions Olympiakos Piraeus out of the Champions League was followed by victory at West Ham United last weekend, before a lame display against Manuel Pellegrini's City left some pundits questioning Moyes' tactics.

"The players know what it is to play for United and the standards they have to set," he said.

"We didn't play well in midweek and it was disappointing, but we played well against Olympiakos and West Ham and we want more of that against Villa."

(Reporting by Justin Palmer,; editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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