Evra hails United spirit


Patrice Evra believes the strength and depth of Sir Alex Ferguson's squad means that Manchester United are well placed to retain the Barclays Premier League title this season.

The 30-year-old left-back was speaking during the aftermath of the Red Devils' emphatic 5-0 victory over Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford - a result that moves the club level on points with leaders Manchester City.

It was a much-changed team that turned out to face an in-form Latics side on Boxing Day, with an unfamiliar looking back four that finished the game, with Evra playing alongside Michael Carrick at central defence.

But despite a number of injury problems, the never-say-die attitude of the reigning champions shone through, and was an integral part in helping United seal yet another convincing victory.

"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.

"I've said that from the beginning - in six years playing here - the Man United spirit - no one team has got that spirit. This is United. This is why I'm so proud to play here."

The result marked Manchester United's eighth win in their last nine league outings, and the side's fourth consecutive victory since they were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by FC Basel - a defeat that Evra reflects on as a pivotal moment in their season.

"I think it was a big disappointment when we went out early in the Champions League," he continued. "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'.

"What the fans expect of every player, we are doing now. That's why I'm very pleased. Nothing is easy; it's because we're working hard. If we stopped working hard and think only with the United name, everything is going to be wrong.

"That's why we have to keep going with this momentum and trust each other because it's a big squad and everyone wants to show they deserve to play. If we win and score goals and keep many clean sheets, like we did tonight, we're going to be at the top of the league at the end of the season."

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