Wednesday 28 December 2011
Manchester United defender Patrice Evra says the club's European disappointment inspired their recent League form.
United recorded 5-0 wins over Fulham and Wigan either side of Christmas to move level on points with Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City.
They have won four straight matches since a 2-1 loss at FC Basel saw them go out of the Champions League at the group stages.
"It was a big disappointment when we went out early in the Champions League," said Evra. "But I think it was a wake-up call, because maybe everyone looked at themselves in the mirror and said 'we can do much better'."
"It was a wake-up call. Everyone looked at themselves in the mirror"
- Patrice Evra
Evra has been a key part of the United defence that has conceded just two League goals since their surprise 6-1 defeat at home to neighbours City in October.
That run has come despite injuries to the likes of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Johnny Evans that saw Evra forced into a role at the heart of the defence alongside midfielder Michael Carrick against Wigan.
"This is the United spirit - you can play everywhere," Evra told MUTV. "If you want to win, you have to accept it. You can see Antonio Valencia playing right-back as well. Only because United play like a team.
"The team is the star, not only one player. That's why you can put me and Michael Carrick at centre-back - we're going to win because it's the team effort and team spirit. That's why I'm confident.
"In six years playing here - no team has got that Manchester United spirit. This is United. This is why I'm so proud to play here."