Evra: Fourth title is all important
Patrice Evra believes Manchester United’s current championship quest is more important than the three he has won before.
On the floor after a week that started with a damaging home defeat to Chelsea and got no better as United crashed out of the Champions League on away goals against Bayern Munich, optimism is slowly starting to rise again at Old Trafford.
While accepting the loss to Chelsea was costly, Sir Alex Ferguson never took the view it was fatal.
Now Evra has echoed the rallying cry, pointing out that history awaits should the Red Devils end the campaign on top once more.
"No-one has won four titles in a row in the history of English football," said the France international.
"We have the opportunity to do it.
"That is why this is one of the most important titles for Manchester United.
"I have won three titles with this club. None of them were as important as this one."
The unpalatable truth as far as Evra and his team-mates are concerned is that even five successive wins, starting at Blackburn on Sunday, will not be enough if Chelsea maintain a 100% record in their remaining games.
Yet Evra feels completing the feat would at the very least be a significant statement of intent, offering the Stamford Bridge side little leeway in their own quest for glory.
A naturally bubbly character, the full-back still believes. And he believes his own outlook will transmit itself through the United squad.
"I am confident," he stressed.
"I am not saying that for the fans or anyone else.
"It is what I feel inside and I hope everyone feels the same.
"We can do it. The important thing now is to concentrate on what Manchester United is going to do.
"It is not about Chelsea or Arsenal, it is about us.
"We have a mission to win every game. After that we will see."
United will be without Wayne Rooney, who is nursing a sore ankle but is expected to be fit for next Saturday’s Manchester derby at Eastlands.
That should mean a recall for Dimitar Berbatov, although against opposition as robust as Sam Allardyce’s side, Ferguson may not utilise the Bulgarian as a lone striker.
Old-stagers Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville are also tipped for recalls, with even Jonny Evans standing an outside chance of being involved if Ferguson decides Rio Ferdinand needs a break after putting his delicate back through a series of stern examinations lately.
For Evra, there will be no break, even though he tops the United appearance charts with 43 starts this term.
Maybe it is not the ideal situation ahead of the World Cup, although at present, the former Monaco star only has eyes for United.
"People say I am playing a lot of games but that is not an excuse," he said.
"It has never entered my head. I need to fight until the end.
"I was shocked to lose in the Champions League, but I knew there were still other challenges.
"The first one is winning the Premier League. After that I will prepare for the World Cup.
"That is something for my country, and something to look forward to.
"But I live in the present and the present is Manchester United, and trying to win the Premier League again."