Real Sociedad captain Xabi Prieto excited for David Moyes to ‘help us grow’

Hailing David Moyes' record with Everton, Prieto said on Tuesday that the Scot was a 'great coach, very prestigious' who could 'give us stability and improve the team'.

David Moyes was officially announced as Real Sociedad's new manager on Tuesday. Andrew Yates / AFP
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Real Sociedad captain Xabi Prieto claims the team are looking forward to starting work under “great coach” David Moyes.

Moyes will begin the task of rebuilding his reputation in La Liga after he was appointed by the Basque outfit late on Monday night, seven months after the ill-fated tenure at Manchester United which so damaged his standing as a manager was brought to a premature end.

Moyes, sacked by United in April following a dismal first season in charge at Old Trafford, has been handed a one-and-a-half-year deal by the La Liga outfit.

In an interview with Real Sociedad TV, midfielder Prieto described the Scot as a “great coach, very prestigious” and said the team were “looking forward to meeting him and working under him”.

Prieto also paid tribute to Moyes’ work at Everton and hoped he could achieve similar results at Sociedad.

He said: “It is very difficult to be at a club for many years as he was at Everton, a sign that he did very well, growing the club and qualifying for several years to play in Europe.

“We hope that with La Real something similar can happen, to help us grow, give us stability and improve the team.”

Sociedad announced in a statement on their official website that Moyes would arrive in San Sebastian on Wednesday and would be presented to the media the following day. They had initially said the Scot would arrive on Tuesday and take his first training session on Wednesday.

Moyes, whose contract with Sociedad runs until June 30, 2016, left United just 10 months into a six-year contract after being named as the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer of 2013.

At the time of his departure, United, the defending champions, were seventh in the Premier League and 23 points behind leaders Liverpool.

Moyes also left the 20-time title winners with a host of unwanted records broken during his tenure, including failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in almost two decades.

The 51-year-old, who became the third shortest-serving manager in the club’s history, won 27, drew nine and lost 15 of his 51 games in charge of United.

He has taken time to choose his next move in the knowledge that it is a crucial one.

Before his United disappointment Moyes enjoyed 11 critically-acclaimed years at Everton, leading the club to five top-six finishes. The club qualified for the Champions League for the first time under Moyes’ stewardship – although they lost in the qualifying stages of the competition – and he also took the Merseyside club to the FA Cup final in 2009.

The former Preston manager takes over a Sociedad side, who moved out of the Primera Division relegation zone on Sunday night with a 2-1 home win over champions Atletico Madrid.

B team coach Asier Santana was in charge for that match following last week’s sacking of Jagoba Arrasate.

It was only the club’s second league win in 11 games this season and left them in 15th place, but level on points with second-bottom Levante.

Arrasate was dismissed in the wake of a hugely disappointing start to the campaign which saw Sociedad – who finished fourth in 2013 and seventh last term – win just one of their opening 10 league fixtures as well as go out of the Europa League.

Ex-West Brom and Real Betis manager Pepe Mel also had been in the running to replace Arrasate, but Moyes was reportedly Sociedad’s first choice.

Moyes’ first game in charge is set to be the trip to newly-promoted Deportivo La Coruna after the international break.

Moyes becomes the fourth British manager of the San Sebastian-based outfit, following in the footsteps of Englishman Harry Lowe and Welsh duo John Toshack and Chris Coleman.

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