Jonny Evans has admitted he is terrified of Manchester United’s glory years coming to an end.
The latest threat to the club’s hard-earned status as England's number one comes from big spending neighbours Manchester City.
While City, under new boss Roberto Mancini, are hoping to embarrass United in tomorrow’s Carling Cup semi-final second leg, Evans knows the stakes are high.
United’s financial problems have been well documented while there is huge reliance on Wayne Rooney to conjure up the magic in Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence.
“A big thing at this club is the fear of not winning anything and not finishing at the top,” the Northern Ireland international said.
“The players want to be winners and there is something at the back of your mind that says you don't want to be part of a side that doesn't win anything. I am a young player who has come into the team over the last couple of seasons.
“I don't want to be remembered by the fans as someone who was part of a team that loses. You don't want to be known as a failure.”
Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook has declared it is a question of when — not if — the Blues reach Wembley and he is not alone in believing tomorrow’s Carling Cup semi-final at Old Trafford marks a handing over of the Mancunian baton.
With 11 league titles and two European Cups in his own incredible personal trophy haul, Sir Alex Ferguson scoffs at such talk.
Ferguson has always maintained it is the agonising defeats that drive him on, rather than the glory nights, of which there are so many. It is an attitude shared by dressing room leaders Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes and one that has already filtered its way down to Evans, who is set to partner Rio Ferdinand in the heart of United's defence against City.
“All the great players have said it is the defeats that drive you on rather than the victories,” said the 22-year-old from Newtownabbey.
“It is the ones that have got away. The things you win get put to the back of your mind until your career has finished, then they can look back. When opportunities have slipped it is different. You don't want to lose things.”