O'Shea calls for concentration
John O'Shea says there is no chance of Man Utd suffering another late lapse in concentration against Everton.
Last Updated: 22/04/11 2:11pm
John O'Shea claims there is no chance of Manchester United suffering another late lapse in concentration against Everton.
The Red Devils allowed a two-goal lead to slip against the Toffees during an enthralling encounter at Goodison Park in September.
Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta grabbed stoppage-time goals for the hosts to secure a 3-3 draw, leaving United deflated.
They have, however, moved through the gears since then and find themselves perched at the top of the Premier League table and closing in on a record 19th top-flight crown.
Another three-point haul in a return date with Everton on Saturday would allow them to cement their standing at the summit and, at the very least, preserve their six-point advantage.
O'Shea can offer no guarantees regarding the result of the weekend encounter at Old Trafford, but is confident that there will be no repeat of United's spectacular collapse on Merseyside.
He said: "If we are 3-1 up with a couple of minutes to go, I don't think the same situation would occur. My clear memory of that game is that we should have been out of sight.
"We created so many chances but were sloppy in not finishing the game off. In the end, we got punished."
There is a distinct possibility that United could take the title this season with a return of less than 80 points, becoming the first side to do so since they came out on top in the 1998-99 Treble-winning campaign.
O'Shea admits the Red Devils are surprised to find themselves in such a position, but believes their lofty standing is just reward for the consistency they have shown during a season no one club has been able to dominate.
"You could say we are surprised at our position given the results early on," said the versatile Irishman.
"But we weren't losing games. We were going to tough places and coming away from matches really disappointed that we had not won quite comfortably.
"There wasn't much tweaking needed to turn those draws into wins and our home form has been such a key factor for where we are in the league now."