Wednesday 28 December 2011

Evra says Euro exit inspired United

Man Utd defender says club has rallied from Champions League disappointment

Dimitar Berbatov scored a hat-trick as United crushed Wigan 5-0 on Boxing Day

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."

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Key Points

  • United have won eight of last nine League matches
  • Recorded successive 5-0 wins over Fulham and Wigan
  • Only goal difference separates United and neighbours Manchester City