Manchester United manager David Moyes has written to season ticket holders to thank them for their support in what he admits has been a “difficult” first season.

This can mean one of two things: either Moyes fears more for his future than he has previously let on, or, more likely, season ticket renewals have gone through the floor.

Moyes succeeded long serving United boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, on 1 July, but nine months into his debut campaign, last season’s Premier League champions lie seventh with only 13 wins from 27 Premier League games.

A place in the top four looks a long shot at the moment, and with United trailing 2-0 from the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against Olympiakos, the prospect of them failing to qualify for Europe’s elite competition for the first time in 21 years, remains a very real possibility.

In a magazine sent to United season ticket holders, Moyes wrote: “The difficult season we have experienced was not something that I envisaged.”

United lost only five league games in their title-winning season of 2012-13, but have already lost eight times in the current campaign.

They were also beaten 2-1 at home by Swansea in the FA Cup third round and were knocked out of the Capital One Cup on penalties by Sunderland.

“You are accustomed to seeing a successful Manchester United and the backing you have given the players and me throughout the season has been incredible,” Moyes continued in his letter.

“Away from home the travelling fans have remained the best in the country, while at Old Trafford your unwavering faith has been noticeable and hugely welcomed.

“Supporting your team when they are winning is easy, but much harder when things are not going as well, and the loyalty you have shown us has been magnificent.

“I have absolutely no doubt we will see great winning sides here again.”

Perhaps, although probably long after Moyes, a manager who has never won a major trophy, has exited stage left.

Moyes, who joined United after 11 solid but unspectacular years with Everton, added: “Everything we have been through will make us a better, stronger team and club in the future.”