Mar 19, 2014 at 7.45pm UK at ​Old Trafford
Man UtdManchester United
3-0
Olympiacos
van Persie (25' pen., 45', 52')
Carrick (10'), Evra (61'), Ferdinand (90')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Manolas (5'), Dominguez (9'), Salino (62'), Marcano (90')

Manchester United fans vital to David Moyes's future

Ahead of tomorrow's Champions League meeting with Olympiacos, Sports Mole looks at how the Manchester United fans could help to determine David Moyes's future.

Addressing his disciples one final time, the retiring Sir Alex Ferguson demanded: "I'd like to remind you that when we had bad times here - the club stood by me, all my staff stood by me and the players stood by me. Your job now is to stand by our new manager. That is important."

Over the last eight months, Manchester United supporters have followed that order, largely to the letter. Even on the final day of last season, with Ferguson still at the helm, the fans that made the trip to West Bromwich Albion sang about their boss to be.

Sure, there were many that were sceptical of his appointment, but Moyes had been hand-picked by the trophy-winning machine that had vacated the helm after 27 years – who were they to question his judgement?

It meant that when West Brom, Newcastle United and Everton all ended lengthy winless runs at Old Trafford during the first half of the season, there were no jeers, no loud voicing of discontent from the stands. It was, in fact, quite the opposite. To the tune of Slade's 'Cum on Feel the Noise', Moyes's name reverberated.

Manchester United Manager David Moyes heads for the dressing room at half-time during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 16, 2014© Getty Images

However, as 2013 became 2014 (a year in which United have lost half of their 14 matches so far), still no hollers are heard, but neither now is that Noddy Holder ditty.

Moyes was quick to praise the United faithful for the support that they provided as bitter rivals Liverpool out-classed, out-fought and dismantled their team on Sunday."The fans were fantastic and deserve great credit for the way they supported the team today," he said.

It's a viewpoint backed up by Wayne Rooney, who said: "The fans were brilliant right until the end under difficult circumstances so I would like to thank them for that," with Juan Mata adding: "There are no words to describe your support in the stadium."

Indeed, Old Trafford, a stadium regularly mocked for a lack of atmosphere despite the success on the pitch, grew louder the more that Liverpool dominated proceedings, so much so that when Luis Suarez curled in the game's third goal, after an initial cheer from the 3,000 travelling fans, they were drowned out by their United counterparts.

Then, while some had departed long before the final whistle, those that remained after it could be heard continuing to bellow '20 times, 20 times' as the victorious manager Brendan Rodgers and his captain Steven Gerrard were being interviewed by Sky Sports News.

There is an escalating belief, though, that the patrons are getting behind the players in the shirt and their club, rather than a manager that many no longer believe in.

In the wake of that latest humiliation, some on internet forums and social networking sites have urged match-going Reds to voice their displeasure. The reality is, Sunday wasn't the right time for such a demonstration of umbrage.

Basking in the glory of their side's title charge, a section of the travelling fans unveiled a banner that read: 'David Moyes is a football genius', accompanied by a less than flattering picture of the Scot. Any disharmony from those of a United persuasion would only have added to the Liverpool contingent's amusement and there was no way that they were going to be given the satisfaction.

Wednesday night is different, though. Some fans parted with a four-figure sum to watch a United team bereft of tactics, ideas and direction slump to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Olympiacos three weeks ago. The Greeks will look to defend that advantage tomorrow night, which if they are successful in doing, will end United's season in the middle of March.

Manchester United manager David Moyes looks on prior to kick-off against Olympiakos in their Champions League match on February 25, 2014© Getty Images

A lot, of course, will depend upon the quality of performance. If United are knocked out in a blaze of glory, having thrown the kitchen sink at Olympiacos, Moyes will probably escape hefty criticism for another week from the home faithful. Yet, another inept showing could prove to be one too many.

Two supporters that attended the Liverpool defeat told Sports Mole that on their way into the city centre after the game, they heard the first murmurings of 'Moyes Out' from a few disgruntled and fellow members of the United entourage.

If Olympiacos were to prosper, those chanters may not be so shy inside Old Trafford. Remember, this is not a European heavyweight or a rival team – with the greatest of respect, the Piraeus-based outfit would struggle to finish in the top half of the Premier League.

With reports over the last 24 hours that Moyes has lost the backing of certain factions of the dressing room, if the crowd were soon to follow suit, there can only one way that the 50-year-old is heading.

Manchester United manager David Moyes looks on prior to kick-off against Olympiakos in their Champions League match on February 25, 2014
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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