Evra: United's season a nightmare
Published 04/05/2014 | 23:32
Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has delivered a damning assessment of the "nightmare" season which he cannot wait to forget.
The feelgood factor that surrounded the club following the interim appointment of Ryan Giggs disappeared on Saturday when Sunderland inflicted a seventh home defeat of the season on United.
The faces in the dugout may have changed, but the same problems persist for United on the field. The hosts were wasteful in possession, their build-up play was slow, and they lacked a clinical touch up front.
Evra could not hide his frustrations after the defeat, which kept United in seventh place in the Barclays Premier League.
"This year has been a disaster," the United left-back said.
"This year we have been really poor. We deserve all the criticism. We have not played well enough. We have lost some stupid games.
"When we are on the pitch we try to win every game but it's been so painful this season, it's been a nightmare.
"When I look at the table I just feel a big frustration.
"This year is a season I want to forget really quickly."
A lot of the United players have shied away from publicly stating why they think the team has performed so badly this term.
Former manager David Moyes too was often at a loss to explain his side's failings in press conferences.
But Evra was not so reticent. The Frenchman said he believes the confidence within the United squad plummeted as soon as Moyes took over following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
"I think there has been a lack of confidence," the 32-year-old said.
"Sir Alex Ferguson was the heart of Manchester United. He is a legend. You cannot replace him so quickly.
"We knew it would be difficult but not this difficult. We can do much better than we have done - maybe not win the league but at least qualify for the Champions League with the players we have."
Evra concedes the playing staff, whom Moyes did not mention in the thank you statement that followed his dismissal, are culpable for the dismal season too.
"Every player has to take responsibility," the defender said.
"You always feel responsible even when David Moyes was in charge. I will not point the finger at anyone else.
"This year everyone failed."
At the start of the year not even the most pessimistic fan could have predicted that United would go into their final home game of the season 20 points off the top of the table.
Evra is sure the club will bounce back next term, when Louis van Gaal is expected to be at the helm.
"I really think (this year) is an accident," said Evra, who has won the Premier League five times during his eight-and-a-half-year spell at Old Trafford.
"I know Manchester United will never die. And also Manchester will come back next year.
"When we lost the league on goal difference to Manchester City (in 2012) I said Manchester United will win the league by 13 points, and we nearly did. In the end we won it by 11 points.
"That is my mentality - never give up."
Whether Evra gives up his place in the United squad will be decided following Sunday's final game of the season at Southampton.
Evra is out of contract this summer and it has been suggested that he wants to move to France or Italy, where Inter Milan are keen on his signature.
"I will decide in two weeks about what I am going to do," said Evra, who joined United from Monaco in January 2006.
"There have been a lot of rumours, but I have not decided anything yet.
"My agent will have a meeting with Manchester and we will see."
When pressed on the matter, Evra responded with a cryptic answer: "Look, everyone knows how much I love this club," he said.
"The reason is an important reason. And you will see. I will tell if I am staying or leaving this club at the end of the season."