Evra demands solidarity
Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has demanded defensive strength ahead of their massive derby fixtures.
By Matthew Skinns
Last Updated: 11/10/11 12:51pm
Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has called for defensive solidarity in creating an impenetrable backline ahead of consecutive clashes with Liverpool and Manchester City.
Despite scoring 24 goals already this season, United have struggled to consistently maintain a clean sheet with goalkeeper David de Gea initially held accountable.
A major scare at Old Trafford saw the Red Devils gift three goals to Swiss side Basel in the UEFA Champions League before Ashley Young secured a 3-3 draw, making it just one clean sheet in five games.
Evra has demanded strength as United travel to Anfield this weekend, voicing disappointment over their recent Chelsea victory.
"I want us to go back to the way we were playing before the Chelsea game," he said.
"We have to defend together, be very compact and not give our opponents too many chances.
"I was disappointed after the Chelsea game because they created a lot of chances and if it had finished 4-4 no-one could have said anything."
The Frenchman faces stiff competition from youngsters Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Brazilian twins Rafael and Fabio who have all proven formidable despite relative inexperience.
Veterans Rio Ferdinand and captain Nemanja Vidic are also set to return to bolster an intimidating array of options.
Evra is looking to set an example to the squad's respective youth in his bid to fight for a place in the starting XI.
"I'm only 30 but I feel like the oldest player in the team," Evra said.
"I just have to show the young players that I'm still here and I want to play every game.
"I need to prove I am still fit because they are young. Maybe they have more energy and think they can steal my place.
"Of course, though, you have to protect them and talk to them if anything is wrong.
"We are here to protect them and show them that it's easy to reach the top, but to stay there is the most difficult thing.
"But before we can say anything to the young players, we have to show our own example on the pitch because the competition is really fierce.
"The boss is not afraid to put the young lads in and it's working well."