It is a mantra that has served David Moyes well during his long tenure as a football manager. The Scot is first to arrive at the training ground every morning, is well renowned for his rigorous drills and an attention that extends to checking the correct air pressure is pumped into balls prior to each session.
Yet, little in his 15 years as a manager can have readied him for the first difficult months of his tenure at Manchester United. Moyes, normally so assured in front of the television cameras, has been found wanting. His references to the previous regime have exposed him to a problem of his own making and the spectre of Sir Alex Ferguson remains about as welcome a presence as Sir Matt Busby's was in the early days of Wilf McGuinness's reign.
A draw in Donetsk brought reassurance to Moyes if only because there were signs his United might become something more than the also-rans they have been thus far, indicators that had been notably absent during the painful defeats by Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion.
Now, though, the imminent launch of Ferguson's autobiography and subsequent theatre tour threatens to have a further negative effect on his United team just as he appears to have resolved the differences that have been apparent between the club and Wayne Rooney since the final months of last season.
Ferguson is due to launch what seems certain to be another memorable autobiography at a press conference in London on October 22.
On the same day as Moyes is due to preview United's Champions League match with Real Sociedad. There is no doubting who the centre of attention will be though, just as Ferguson commanded the headlines on Wednesday with the content of an extensive TV interview in the United States. With so many potentially explosive comments on the agenda, not least Rooney and his long-time advisor Paul Stretford, it is difficult to imagine United not suffering some kind of fall-out, no matter how careful Ferguson tries to be.
"I don't see it being negative in any way at all," countered Moyes. "Anything Sir Alex does is good for Manchester United. He was an incredible manager. His success was fantastic. To the Manchester United supporters, anything Sir Alex says is gospel. They love him and rightly so."
Yet it was suggested in the summer that one of the chief reasons behind Rooney's desire to leave United was his breakdown in relations with Ferguson. In particular, there is an issue over Ferguson's claim Rooney handed in a transfer request, something the player denies.
On Wednesday, Ferguson rejected the chance to pull back from that position. Given the time he has taken to talk Rooney round, Moyes could be forgiven some distress at the intervention but insists there is no issue.
"If you are alluding to Wayne I see no problems with that whatsoever," he said. "Look at Wayne's performances. Look at the way he has played. I think he has been fantastic. I don't think anything that comes out will have any effect on us."
This week's analysis is a microcosm of the kind of scrutiny any United manager is exposed to and something Moyes was shielded from at Everton.
"It has surprised me a little bit," said Moyes. "But Manchester United is arguably the biggest club in the world. If you lose a couple of games you are going to get talked about. I have no problem with that. I was getting talked about when I wasn't losing though. That was the bit that made me think 'where has that come from?' But it goes with the territory."
So too comments, positive and negative, from Ferguson's former coaching team, who all left after Moyes opted to bring in his own men. Eric Steele, who has joined Steve McClaren at Derby, suggested Moyes had gone against Ferguson's advice in bringing to Old Trafford the staff he worked so closely with at Everton.
"That is life," said Moyes. "That is the job of football. There are no guarantees for anybody."
What can be guaranteed is that if United suffer a third-straight league defeat for the first time since December 2001 at Sunderland, Moyes' tenure will be raked over again during the international break. He believes Paolo Di Canio's time in charge of today's opponents underlines the precarious nature of management.
"Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it can take longer to get your opinions over than sometimes you are given."
He meant Di Canio but he could just as easily have been speaking about himself.