David Moyes heads into their FA Cup third round clash against Swansea City desperate to end Manchester United's ten-year wait for FA Cup glory.
United have been struggling in the Premier League and Wednesday's defeat against Tottenham Hotspur left them 11 points behind leaders Arsenal. With their hopes of defending the title looking all but over, the FA Cup is a potential opportunity for Moyes to win his first major silverware as a manager and also ensure he does not end his first season at United without a trophy.
United last won the Cup when they defeated second tier side Millwall 3-0 in the 2004 final. But after a heavy fixture schedule over Christmas left United with a mounting injury list, boss Moyes admits it is a difficult time for his side to be facing another Premier League club in the third round at Old Traffford this weekend.
"The Cup is important. It's certainly important to me and always has been," Moyes said when asked if he would field an under-strength team against Swansea. "I think it's important to every club. The longer you stay in, the more important it becomes and for most Premier League clubs this is just the start of it. At this moment in time with a lot of Premier League games having been played, it's a difficult time."
Since beating Millwall in Cardiff, United have lost FA Cup finals to Arsenal and Chelsea and also suffered a semi-final loss against Manchester City in 2011. "I'm sure there is frustration among the players because if you're at a club like Manchester United you want to be involved in trophy winning opportunities," Moyes said.
"To not win an FA Cup for ten years is something which is a bit of a surprise but it is something we will try and do. We're trying to win all the competitions we enter which most people are trying to do. As far as I'm concerned, we will do everything we possibly can to get through."
United striker Wayne Rooney is likely to miss the game with a groin problem, while Moyes revealed on Friday that Ashley Young has a shoulder injury following a challenge from Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Dutch forward Robin van Persie remains out with a thigh injury and Phil Jones (knee), Nani (hamstring), Marouane Fellaini (wrist) and Rafael (groin) are also sidelined.
Swansea won the League Cup last season and boss Michael Laudrup revealed they will take inspiration from FA Cup holders Wigan, who defeated Manchester City in the final. The Swans' chances of going all the way took a significant hit when they were drawn against United at Old Trafford - a ground they have never won at in ten attempts.
The last time Swansea got a draw at United was in 1934 and they lost on their next eight visits. But Laudrup remains confident he can guide them past United and deliver more silverware to south Wales. "You have to believe," he said. "Just look what happened with Wigan last year and with us in the League Cup." Pablo Hernandez will miss the Cup tie with a hamstring problem and he joins Michu, Michel Vorm and Nathan Dyer on the sidelines.