Wherever David Moyes goes at Old Trafford there is an image of a Man-chester United knight of the realm holding the European Cup staring straight back at him. As he took his seat to preview the visit of Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday there they were again: Sir Matt Busby, Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Alex -Ferguson portraits adorning the Europa Suite, a shrine to the club's greatest continental triumphs.
When Moyes tentatively mentioned his limited Champions League experience, it felt as if he was sugar-coating the underbaked. "I've been there with Everton against -Villarreal but we didn't quite make the group stages," he said. "I've watched plenty of Champions League games and played in it as a player when it was the European Cup. It was a rare excursion with Everton but unfortunately we didn't get through.
"I was at the Real Madrid game here last season that went completely against us on the night. I've been to Old Trafford and Celtic Park for the Champions League games and I am always amazed by the atmosphere. "This is something different. I'm now managing a club used to getting close to the final stages and I will try and do that again. I'm hoping we'll give everyone something to shout about. We're going to try and improve our record. "Every game has offered a new challenge and a tough one but I'm really looking forward to the Champions League."
The near miss with Everton, in a qualifier in 2005, impaired Moyes's Goodison reign. But he bristles at any hint that inexperience in the competition implies he is not qualified. "I've been around, I've been in the Premier League a long time now, 12 to 15 years managing, and I've always wanted to get into the Champions League," he said.
"I've done everything I could with Everton to try and make that happen and now I've got another route here with Manchester United I'm going to do everything I possibly can to win it." It should be noted that the recent European performances are not as formidable as the domestic record he inherited. Last season United went out in the last-16 stage and failed to get beyond the group stages in 2012.
Of United's nine most recent European games at Old Trafford, they have won only three, drawing two and losing four. The fortress needs reinforcing. "The Champions League has become different," Moyes said. "You could always pick out the winning teams. But the last year or two it has been hard to pick out a winner. You can see that from the results in some of the group stages. It is that bit more unpredictable.
"It is a tough group. We have got a leading team from Germany, a leading team from Spain, we have to go to Donetsk to play -Shakhtar, who are pretty well experienced in the competition now. It has become such a competition now that everybody sees they can do well in it. Some teams feel they can rest players in their domestic leagues before Champions League fixtures but that is very -difficult to do in the Premier League because you have got to fight on all fronts."
Tonight may be the moment Moyes glances around his new arena and truly feels like the manager of Manchester United. "It was a really important moment for me when I joined the club and Sir Bobby Charlton said he wanted to see me," Moyes said. "When he came in, he was fantastic.
The way he spoke, he is an incredibly humble man, explained what it is like to be at Manchester United, what a Manches-ter United manager should be like, and then he talked about football.
"I just found his company great. He comes down after every game into the dressing room, sees the players, talks to us." And what did Charlton say was expected of United manager? "I won't go into detail," Moyes said. He does not need to. Another glance around the walls of the Europa Suite spells it out.