Patrice Evra has had a trying few months. Banned for five France internationals by the French Football Federation for his part in Les Bleus’ tumultuous World Cup finals, the full-back has since experienced a topsy-turvy start to United’s season. Yet, despite a series of setbacks, Patrice’s positive thinking for club and country remains intact...
Was it strange to be training at Carrington during the international break?
It’s a very sad time. I have another three games to miss and it’s difficult, but I need to take that in a positive way. I’ve been working on my fitness and in the gym to be ready for West Brom and Bursaspor. But it’s strange for me. I want to do my job 100 per cent, because my job is not only winning trophies with Manchester United, it’s also to play for my country. So I feel like I am only doing half my job at the moment.
How difficult an experience was the World Cup for you?
It was a nightmare. We had a bad tournament, but now it’s finished. We need to start to forget everything. It’s not easy, but we need to focus on the future. I’m focused on United, and when I have the opportunity to be selected for France again I hope the manager [former Reds defender Laurent Blanc] will select me and I will continue to do my job, 100 per cent.
How did it feel to come back to United after the events in South Africa?
It was a relief. People may say I’m crazy, but even on holiday after the World Cup I was in the gym, working hard. I didn’t do anything in pre-season with United this year, but then played 90 minutes against Newcastle in our first league game. During my holiday I was focused on getting ready for United. I had one week of rest and then for four weeks I was working hard in the gym to get fit and prepared.
So that’s a line drawn under the whole matter, from your point of view?
Yeah. I want to play to the highest level. That’s being at the top with your club and playing for your national team. Maybe one day I will feel I don’t have the quality any more, and I will say, “that’s enough”. But until then I will work hard in training and aim to play again for France.
Do our away results suggest there are no easy places to visit anymore?
[shakes his head] I always speak about my team. If someone asks me who our most difficult opponent is, I always say ‘Manchester United’. No-one ever says that another