Unforgettable debut inspires Evra

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Patrice Evra will never forget his Manchester United debut - he is just glad he didn't follow his initial plan to go straight back home to France.

Evra made his first United appearance against Manchester City at Eastlands in January 2006. United lost 4-1, Evra was substituted at half-time, and many suggested his stay in England would be brief.

"I remember that game very, very well," he said. "At one point the ball went out from a corner and I remember thinking, Pat, what are you doing here?"

He added: "The game was so quick, everyone was so strong and the whole thing was just too difficult."

Thankfully, Evra did not give in to his immediate temptation and Sir Alex Ferguson kept faith with him. And, thanks to doggedness, perseverance and hard work, the France international is now established as one of the best full-backs in England.

"I really wanted to play for this club, so I just decided to work even harder and thankfully, it has worked," he said.

Yet Evra has still not enjoyed that much success against City.

Although he got revenge over Sunday's opponents the following season, last term the Blues recorded a domestic double over the fierce local rivals for the first time in almost 40 years.

And Evra knows Sunday's encounter offers the perfect chance for United to muscle their way back into the title race and stamp their authority over City once more.

"It is a massive game," he said. "It is very important for the players and everyone connected with the club."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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