Jonny Evans believes Manchester United played well enough to beat Tottenham Hotspur and, rather than dwell on the 2-1 defeat, is keen for the team to focus on continuing some positive recent form.
The Reds controlled the opening exchanges of the first game of 2014 but were twice hit on the break by Spurs and, despite Danny Welbeck’s instant response and a barrage of late pressure, could not force an equaliser.
Evans was frustrated but refused to be too downbeat because he feels there were positive signs for United both against Spurs and in December’s six-game winning run.
"I thought we did enough to have got something out of the game," the defender told MUTV. "We put them under a lot of pressure without creating too many clear-cut chances and they defended well.
"Their goals came from nowhere, really – they had two breaks on us that left us open. It’s disappointing but we’ll keep plugging away.
"We’ve started the New Year on a bad note but we’ll keep trying to get results. In the last six games we’ve played quite well and controlled matches – we have to keep at that."
United are now seventh in the table, 11 points adrift of leaders Arsenal. Puzzlingly, the Reds’ away form has been better than at Old Trafford: this was a fourth home defeat of the season, while 20 of the 34 points collected so far have come on the road.
"Our home form hasn’t been good, our away form has and we have to get the balance right," Evans conceded.
"It’s hard to explain: we left ourselves too open to the counter-attack against Spurs and they caught us on the break twice, whereas away from home we’re a bit more defensive in our set-up.