sport

Evra: United deserve criticism

Patrice Evra says Manchester United fully deserve the criticism that has come their way during what he describes as a "disastrous" season.

The reigning champions have endured a torrid campaign by their own high standards as manager David Moyes struggled to fill the shoes of predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson before being sacked last week.

Ryan Giggs took temporary charge of the team for the remainder of the season but, after winning his first game, was unable to prevent them losing 1-0 at home to struggling Sunderland on Saturday.

That result left United in seventh place in the table and struggling to secure even a Europa League spot. They already know they will not play Champions League football next season.

"This year has been a disaster," the United left-back said. "This year we have been really poor. We deserve all the criticism. We have not played well enough. We have lost some stupid games.

"When we are on the pitch we try to win every game but it's been so painful this season, it's been a nightmare.

"When I look at the table I just feel a big frustration. This year is a season I want to forget really quickly."

Many of the United players have shied away from offering an explanation as to why United have struggled this season but Evra was less reticent, suggesting that the confidence within the squad plummeted as soon as Moyes took over following the retirement of Ferguson.

"I think there has been a lack of confidence," the 32-year-old said. "Sir Alex Ferguson was the heart of Manchester United. He is a legend. You cannot replace him so quickly.

"We knew it would be difficult but not this difficult. We can do much better than we have done - maybe not win the league but at least qualify for the Champions League with the players we have.

"Every player has to take responsibility. You always feel responsible even when David Moyes was in charge. I will not point the finger at anyone else.

"This year everyone failed."

Despite his damning verdict on their performance this season, Evra remains confident that they will be back challenging next season.

"I really think (this year) is an accident," said Evra. "I know Manchester United will never die. And also Manchester will come back next year.

"When we lost the league on goal difference to Manchester City (in 2012) I said Manchester United will win the league by 13 points, and we nearly did. In the end we won it by 11 points.

"That is my mentality - never give up."

Whether Evra, out is out of contract this summer, gives up his place in the United squad will be decided following Sunday's final game of the season at Southampton.

"I will decide in two weeks about what I am going to do," he added. "There have been a lot of rumours, but I have not decided anything yet.

"My agent will have a meeting with Manchester and we will see."