FOOTBALL NEWS

18/04/2013 16:00, Report by Gemma Thompson
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Evra puts prize over praise

Patrice Evra is unfazed by a lack of praise from some quarters regarding Manchester United's form this term and the questions about whether or not the current squad has what it takes to match the achievements of those from the past.

The Reds have a 13-point lead over closest challengers Manchester City and recently set a new top-flight win record with 26 victories from the opening 32 games. Nonetheless, United's form and the quality of the squad has still been called into question.

Evra insists no-one inside the club is concerned. Instead, he and his team-mates are simply focused on completing the task at hand: winning the league.

“I think this is why you play for Manchester United. People want to see Manchester United fall down," he told PA Sport and talkSPORT. "In the seven years I have been here, it is always the same. When you lose one game it is like the end of the world. It has always been like that. If you don't accept this pressure, you can't play for Manchester United. But we need that also.

“In the beginning of the season, we were not playing well, but we always come back after losing 1-0. We keep winning. We are a marathon team. People forget that. The league is not a sprint – it is a marathon. People just want to see us playing well in big games against City or Liverpool, but this is not the way to win a league. Of course you want to win against the big teams, but it is about how many games you win.

"I thought: 'Why are people talking?’ We are 13 points clear but they keep saying ‘Manchester United, Manchester United’… in the end if we get to lift the trophy we will see who is right.

"Last year, I remember when we lost the league, everyone said City was better than us and that they played the best football. I admit we didn't play well, but in the end we finished on the same points," added the French defender.

“In my last interview [last season] I said that if Manchester United got the consistency back, maybe we could win the league by 10 points. I said it at the end of the season, not now. For the moment I am wrong – it is 13

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