Patrice Evra has said United must overcome the fear factor that they’ve developed when playing on their own turf this season, which has been seized upon by other clubs with United having already lost three games at home in the first four months of the season.
The Reds welcome West Ham United tomorrow, having lost consecutive home games in the league against Everton and Newcastle, failing to score in both games.
United’s home record this season has been far from impressive, with United winning just three of their eight games played at Old Trafford this season and, even more worryingly, scoring just eight times, the league’s third-joint worst record.
Evra believes United’s problems at Old Trafford this season have been self-inflicted and he admitted David Moyes’ men can’t afford any more slip-ups at home.
“When we lost against Everton and the game against Newcastle, it was obvious we looked a little bit worried,” the United defender told the Guardian. “The crowd were not happy sometimes. It is not easy for anyone.
“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.”
Having won their last two games away from home without conceding a goal, Evra is desperate for United to build on wins against Aston Villa and Stoke and embark on another unbeaten run.
“I want to get another unbeaten run going but this time we do not want to slip back again,” said the Frenchman. “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. 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 new-found defensive solidity – David De Gea has kept a clean sheet in the last three games in all competitions – is pivotal to the Reds’ hopes of climbing up the table.
“The team is really focused on that [keeping clean sheets],” said the United defender. “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. We do not want to let down the Manchester United fans and the staff and ourselves. When we lost against Everton and Newcastle it was a massive blow but we have reacted well with three wins in a row. We have to make sure we win on Saturday. That is my concern and that is my focus.”
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Tags: Manchester United News