David Moyes has insisted that he retains the support of the majority of Manchester United fans.
A group of supporters have clubbed together to pay for a light aircraft to fly over Old Trafford on Saturday, trailed by a banner that reads 'Wrong One - Moyes Out'. The United boss said fans were "entitled" to organise such a protest after recent results, but the Scot insists he is supported by most fans, the club's board and the playing staff.
"Everywhere I go I get great support from Manchester United supporters," Moyes said. "I was at a dinner last night for Darren Fletcher and there were Manchester United supporters who came up to me and said, 'Come on, keep going, we understand exactly the situation the club is in and team is in'.
"They were really supportive and every time I have been to Old Trafford they have been great. I am seeing a lot different from what a lot of people are saying but I understand that results matter."
When asked about the fly-by, Moyes said: "I have heard of it and what they are saying about it, but this is something which is a long journey here, this is only the start of the journey. People can do that. They are entitled to do that."
Moyes, whose team lie seventh in the Premier League, insists the protest against him has only strengthened his resolve to turn United's fortunes around. "I am more driven to succeed more than ever. I want to change this position we are in now and I believe we can do that," he said. "I am hurting and the players are hurting but we are working hard."
Reports of unrest among the playing staff emerged following Tuesday's 3-0 defeat to Manchester City - the club's sixth home defeat of the campaign. When asked if he retained the support of the playing staff, Moyes said: "Definitely. I have no reason to suggest anything else. We work together and have a great relationship."
Another defeat at Old Trafford would give United their worst home record since 1974. They are already guaranteed to end the campaign with their worst points total in Premier League history.
Further pressure will be heaped on Moyes if United lose to Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon, but the Scot insists people should be looking at the long-term, rather than the short-term. "There's a rebuilding plan under way and anybody who has an understanding of the game understands that will happen," he said.
Sir Bobby Charlton said before the derby defeat that Moyes was "absolutely" the right choice to replace Sir Alex Ferguson even though some have claimed that results have suggested differently. United Defender Rio Ferdinand said he had been "embarrassed" by the team's form at times this year.
Moyes says results have taken their toll on him and the rest of the United squad too. "Everybody's hurting," he said. "They players are hurting. They're really good professionals who work incredibly hard at their jobs and it's the same for the management staff as well. We're working hard to try and make sure we get winning teams, but the players are hurting as well."