Home » EPL, Latest » Pre-season friendly: Singha All Star XI 1 Manchester United 0

Teeratep Winothai: remember the name. He became the first scorer in the David Moyes Manchester United era but to the blushes of the new manager and players the winner came against them on 50 minutes, when Ben Amos was wrong-footed by the Singha All Star XI captain.

“It wasn’t a brilliant result,” Moyes said, “but I’m more pleased with the way they kept going. We gave one or two young players an opportunity. It was certainly a good fitness workout.”

With his strike Winothai, a former Belgian second division footballer, joined John Aldridge and Neil Slatter in the footnotes of players who have handed defeats to United’s past two managers in their first games, after Alex Ferguson’s 1986 vintage went down 2-0 to Oxford at the Manor Ground in the opener to what proved to be 26-plus years of success.

Given that precedent, perhaps the question was the wrong way round when Moyes was asked if the defeat was a bad sign rather than a good one. “I hope not – if I’m going to lose any games I’m happy to lose these ones, that’s for sure,” he said.

United have lost these outings before – one came in a 2-1 reverse to Kansas City three years ago, and they lost a penalty shootout to Barcelona last August. Also, Moyes had to choose this inaugural XI from a depleted squad that was missing nine first-team players, but this is still not how he would have wanted his reign to begin.

Yet the Scot had a point when he said: “It’s not one we desperately needed to win but it was a game we needed to get prepared for. In relative terms it’s not of the biggest importance.”

United’s disjointed evening was summed up near the end when the misfiring Danny Welbeck produced a shot that wobbled past Narit Taweekul’s right post as the striker fell over.

But at least by this juncture United had brightened, following the 63rd-minute introduction of Wilfried Zaha, Phil Jones and Jesse Lingard. Zaha, on his debut, went closest. A pivot on to his left was followed by a sweet swish of the boot that this time hit Taweekul’s right upright before, later, Lingard scuffed a shot at the keeper.

Before the game Zaha had voiced his desire not to go out on loan again, after he was leased back to Crystal Palace for the second part of last season following his £15m move.The winger did those hopes no harm in his cameo but these are early days. “Wilfried did well, he gave us something,” Moyes said. “We’re short of forwards, we didn’t have many options with Wayne [Rooney] injured, Robin [van Persie] joining up later, [Javier] Hernández not here and Will Keane being injured.

“He [Zaha] gave us a bit and was certainly unlucky not to score with that shot. We’ll see how he does. It’s the first chance I’ve had to see him up close. We’ll see how we can fit him in as quick as we can.”

Moyes’s first act on game-day was to marshal a side from a depleted squad. Rooney’s torn hamstring handed Welbeck a start at the head of United’s familiar 4-2-3-1. Also on the absentee list were David de Gea and Antonio Valencia, who join up next week in Sydney following international commitments, plus Shinji Kagawa (Japan, in a fortnight), and the injured headed by the captain, Nemanja Vidic (sciatica), Nani (nose operation), Chris Smalling (foot) and Ashley Young (ankle rehabilitation).

All of this meant that the 18-year-old Adnan Januzaj stepped into Rooney’s No10 berth to offer a promising display that faded after the break. “If he continues to play like that he’ll get more chances,” said Moyes.

The defeat came inside a 65,000 sell-out Rajamangala National Stadium that was a red wall of noise, making the experience feel like a political convention. It will have been a novel outing for Moyes. But he will not want too many repeats of the result. Or more injuries – Alexander Büttner limped off in the first half with a tight hamstring, Moyes confirmed.

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