sport

Evra draws on United spirit

Patrice Evra believes the 'Manchester United spirit' is required to lift the Red Devils back up the Premier League.

United may have secured a place in the Champions League knockout stages and booked a Capital One Cup semi-final with Sunderland over the past fortnight, but their league position remains dire.

For a club of their size, eighth position represents significant underachievement.

Now Evra wants his team-mates to summon up the fight so badly lacking during those awful back-to-back home defeats by Everton and Newcastle earlier this month.

"I am not looking at the table and I don't want to look at the future," said the 32-year-old.

"I want to look at the present; West Ham at home.

"Last year we won that kind of game. This season we have more trouble at Old Trafford.

"That is why we have to show our character and personality and play with the Manchester United spirit.

"We have to respect the shirt."

Evra insists he saw positive signs in Wednesday's win at Stoke, United's third clean sheet on the trot.

But now they must conquer the fear that appeared to creep into their play against Newcastle.

"After we lost against Everton, it was obvious we looked a little bit worried during the game against Newcastle," said the France defender.

"The crowd were not happy sometimes and that is not easy for anyone.

"But we play for Manchester United. We have to deal with it because we need the supporters.

"If they want to criticise us, we deserve that because when you play for Manchester United, you have to play with pressure.

"I want to get another unbeaten run going. We must not slip again because we have already done that too many times and it is too painful."

Manager David Moyes is wrestling with a lengthy injury list.

Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick remain sidelined, whilst skipper Nemanja Vidic has now missed three successive games and featured just three times since November 10.

In addition, Wayne Rooney has a groin strain which Moyes insists is not serious but will not wish to risk at such a congested point of the season.