Football: Moyes snubbed English clubs for Spain challenge

Real Sociedad's new coach David Moyes (right) attends his first training past Real Sociedad's manager Lorenzo Juarros in San Sebastian on Nov 12, 2014. Moyes said Thursday he turned down offers from several English clubs when he opted for the ch
Real Sociedad's new coach David Moyes (right) attends his first training past Real Sociedad's manager Lorenzo Juarros in San Sebastian on Nov 12, 2014. Moyes said Thursday he turned down offers from several English clubs when he opted for the challenge of leading Spanish league stragglers Real Sociedad. -- PHOTO: AFP

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain (AFP) - Former Manchester United manager David Moyes said Thursday he turned down offers from several English clubs when he opted for the challenge of leading Spanish league stragglers Real Sociedad.

At his official presentation by the Basque club, the 51-year-old Scot said he now hoped to turn around the Basque team's fortunes as he did with Everton in the Premier League before his ill-fated nine months at United.

Moyes said he had "never had any doubt" about joining Sociedad, which he saw as the biggest challenge of his career.

"I'd had several offers to manage back in the Premier League, I've spoken to several clubs in different countries," he said, declining to name the clubs concerned.

"But the only place that has really tugged at the heartstrings and made me think this is the right club, has been Sociedad."

Now, he will face the mighty Real Madrid and Barcelona in what he said was arguably "the best league in the world".

"La Liga has some of the best players and best coaches. I want to test myself against the best."

Sociedad sacked their last coach Jagoba Arrasate this month after just one win in their opening 10 league games.

They then bounced back to beat current Spanish champions Atletico Madrid 2-1 on Sunday, which took them out of the relegation zone.

Moyes said he was impressed with what he had seen of Sociedad's players since arriving in their home city of San Sebastian on Wednesday, and aimed to lead them to be "better that what they are showing."

"I'm tough with them. I like to work hard... I like the challenge of getting the club to the top of the league. I don't see any reason why I can't do that," he said.

"I care more about winning than anything else. No matter what we do on the training ground, it is up the table we have to go."

Moyes was sacked by Manchester United in April after less than a season in charge as the side failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 1995.

He enjoyed a broadly successful 11-year spell at Everton before taking over at United, but he has yet to win a major trophy as a coach.

Real Sociedad have already had three British managers: Henry Lowe in the 1930s, John Toshack three times between 1985 and 2002, and Chris Coleman in 2007-08.

Elsewhere British managers at top foreign clubs are relatively rare.

"If I can come here and succeed then maybe it will make it easier for other managers to come and do the same," Moyes said.