Evra makes case for defence

Patrice Evra feels Man Utd are stronger defensively this season despite keeping only a fourth clean sheet on Saturday.

Last Updated: 30/12/12 at 13:33 Post Comment

Patrice Evra in action against West Brom

Patrice Evra in action against West Brom

Patrice Evra has claimed Manchester United have defended better this season than they did last even though they managed only their fourth Premier League clean sheet in Saturday's 2-0 win over West Brom.

Given the Red Devils had 10 shut-outs by the same point last term and are currently only five adrift of the 33 goals they conceded in the entire campaign, it seems an odd thing to say.

Even Evra admits it is bizarre. However, the Frenchman is adamant.

And, even though almost all his team-mates, and most importantly his manager, have expressed concern at the manner of United's defending, he has none.

"The confidence of keeping a clean sheet is good," he said.

"I am a defender. I don't like to concede goals. But I am more bothered about winning games and I know when we have a big game the defence will be strong.

"Maybe it sounds bizarre but I feel we were weaker defensively last year even if this season we have conceded more goals.

"I know sometimes it is about concentration and we can do much better but it does seems the opponent scores every time they shoot. I am not worried about the goals."

For all the doubts expressed about their performances at the back, United evidently have enormous strength at the other end of the field.

Even with Wayne Rooney injured and both Javier Hernandez and Robin van Persie rested, United were able to establish a winning position against a West Brom outfit who can name Liverpool, Everton and Chelsea amongst their victims this season.

And when Sir Alex Ferguson's men faltered, Van Persie's contribution from the bench was to score his 17th United goal to wrap up yet another win which ensures they enter 2013 seven points clear of Manchester City.

"Robin is impressive," said Evra. "He reminds me of Ruud van Nistelrooy. He came on and scored that goal. He just has to keep going."

If there is a hidden danger from yesterday's success, it came from a stamina sapping surface, which survived a pitch inspection prior to kick off and, according to Ferguson, left Michael Carrick "running on memory".

It surely means a significant number of changes can be anticipated for Tuesday's visit to Wigan, with the outfield players who have started all United's Festive fixtures so far - Evra, Carrick, Jonny Evans and Antonio Valencia - the most obvious casualties.

"I am lucky to play a lot of games," said Evra, who was starting his 22nd game of the season. "Until I can't run, I will ask to play. I will rest when I retire. That is the name of my game."

In previous years, an encounter with Wigan would be regarded as a comfortable three points no matter what team Ferguson turned out.

All that changed last April when Shaun Maloney scored the only goal to trigger the collapse that eventually saw City crowned champions.

"Tuesday is important," said Evra. "When we lost there last year we didn't show anything. It was a really bad performance.

"This year we don't have any excuses. We know what to expect."

As for West Brom, they can approach a meeting with Fulham in positive mood despite the result.

And, in 19-year-old midfielder George Thorne they have a player of immense promise after being pitched straight in following his impressive loan spell at Peterborough.

"George only came back from Peterborough yesterday and though I had other options, I decided to throw him in," said Baggies boss Steve Clarke.

"He was frustrated because he couldn't get in our team, so we let him go out to get match experience and play competitive games in the Championship.

"We got some great reports on him. I knew he could go in there and play and he did very well."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

his is brilliant! All these years of moral ambiguity, grey areas of offence and context..now we have a simple, easy to follow guide to right and wrong. What did you do today? I kicked the face off a panda . Oh well, you didn't rape, kill anyone or abuse a minor, knock yourself champ.

megabrow (cufc)
Redknapp leaps to Mackay defence

I

wonder if he'd feel the same way if he wasn't a white, non-jewish heterosexual male. Because Mackay has basically insulted everyone else!

Jay_D
Redknapp leaps to Mackay defence

C

heers Harry. I was wondering if he'd murdered anyone

Ezy_Rider
Redknapp leaps to Mackay defence

Footer 365

Championship review: Nottingham Forest, Watford, Norwich and Wolves claim wins

Nottingham Forest beat Reading 4-0 to go top of the Championship, while Fulham are bottom after a 5-1 defeat to Leeds.

Premier League: Harry Redknapp happy with QPR's transfer dealings

Harry Redknapp is convinced his summer transfer business will prove solid enough to keep QPR in the Premier League.

Transfer news: No good behaviour clause in Mario Balotelli's Liverpool contract, says agent

Mario Balotelli will join Liverpool next week, but won't have a good behaviour clause in his contract, his agent says.

Mail Box

More Fan Mail For Football365...

'Just p*ss off with your righteous indignation will you. W*nkers.' There's a lot of anger going around for what should have been a sleepy Friday afternoon at F365 Towers...

Man United: One Game To Save Season

They have one match to convince decent players that they are worth joining - over to you, Louis. We also have mails on Malky Mackay, Mario Balotelli and Tim...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property