17/12/2008 14:02, Report by Gemma Thompson in Yokohama
Evra 'very angry' about ban
Patrice Evra is "very angry" about his four-game suspension following a post-match skirmish at Stamford Bridge last May, but is focused on helping United become world champions.
The Frenchman was banned and fined by the FA following an alleged fracas with Chelsea groundsman Sam Bethell after United's 2-1 defeat. He sits out the league games with Stoke and Middlesbrough, the FA Cup tie at Southampton and the Carling Cup semi-final first leg at Derby.
"I'm very angry because I didn't touch anybody, yet I have a four-game ban," he told MUTV
. "But sometimes bad things happen in life - now I'm focusing on the Club World Cup because I want to be a world champion."
United chief executive David Gill reiterated the club's bitter disappointment at the decision. "We looked at the situation carefully and discussed it with Alex and Patrice, and as you saw from the strong statement we put out we were very disappointed by the ban," he said.
"We thought it was disproportionate, a poor decision. But we felt, given the games he misses, the issues surrounding an appeal and the distraction it would cause at a key stage in the season, it'd be better to take it on the chin.
"Patrice is a wonderful character and I believe him 100 per cent when he says he never hit the groundsman. He has our full support. We don't like the decision and we don't think it reflects other improper conduct charges. But we move on."
Ironically, Evra makes returns from suspension against Chelsea at Old Trafford on 11 January.