Patrice Evra admits fear has affected Manchester United’s form at Old Trafford
‘We must not slip again because we have already done that too many times’
Manchester United’s Patrice Evra
Patrice Evra has admitted an element of fear has been influential in Manchester United’s troubled form at Old Trafford, and said the champions cannot afford any more slip-ups.
United lie eighth, 13 points adrift of the leaders, Arsenal, after scoring just eight goals and securing just three wins at home in the Premier League. Newcastle United and Everton were the last teams to visit Old Trafford on league business, with both recording 1-0 victories.
“When we lost against Everton and the game against Newcastle, it was obvious we looked a little bit worried,” said Evra. “The crowd were not happy sometimes. But we play for Manchester United. We have to deal with that because we need them [the supporters]. We have to show them first on the pitch by playing well. If they want to criticise us, we deserve that because when you play for Manchester United, you have to play with the pressure.”
Evra and his team-mates have their latest chance to impress United’s home support when they take on West Ham on Saturday. Wednesday night’s League Cup win at Stoke, in which Evra scored, was United’s third victory in succession in all competitions.
“I want to get another unbeaten run going but this time we do not want to slip back again,” Evra said. “It is too painful. It is too painful for us, for the staff, for the fans. We have to make sure we keep winning games. We must not slip again because we have already done that too many times.
“I am not looking at the table, I look at the next game which is West Ham at home. Last year we won that kind of game. We have more trouble at Old Trafford.
‘Show our character’
That is where we have to show our character and our personality and play with the Manchester United spirit. Of course we need points. I wouldn’t lie and say anything else. I just want to rest and be focused on Saturday. You can talk a lot; what counts is how you act on the pitch.”
United’s three-game winning streak has come without the concession of a single goal. “We know when we get some clean sheets we can win games. The conditions at Stoke were not easy but you could feel the Manchester United spirit coming back. To win 2-0 at Stoke, it has to be a great performance. Even the players who have not played very often, like Ashley [Young] and Anderson played very well.
“That is the name of the game now. We have to focus only on the present.”