Evra eager to avoid another Toon defeat
Patrice Evra is determined to avoid another Manchester United inquest after Sunday's trip to Newcastle.
The Red Devils suffered a three-goal mauling in the corresponding fixture last season. It prompted clear-the-air talks with manager Sir Alex Ferguson that actually reignited United's Premier League title challenge.
However, coming on the back of last weekend's dismal first-half display against Tottenham at Old Trafford, left-back Evra believes such discussions are best avoided. "We had a meeting after that game at Newcastle last season," he said. "We had to talk with each other because it was not the way we respect the shirt of Manchester United. We don't want another wake-up call."
The Frenchman added: "We know what happened last year. We know the experience up there and we have to be ready from the first minute of the game."
United have taken plenty of flak already this season, mainly due to the difficulties they are having at the back.
The situation has not been helped by a lengthy injury list, which the club's medical staff are working manfully to keep Jonny Evans off.
Evans sustained a dead leg against Tottenham at the weekend which he did not look comfortable with last night and eventually forced him to limp off.
If Evans does not recover for the Newcastle game, Ferguson may be forced to throw in rookie Scott Wootton or use Michael Carrick as an emergency central defender, which was not a success in the opening game of the season, when United lost at Everton.
Little wonder Ferguson highlighted attack as United's greatest strength in the aftermath of their 2-1 win in Cluj on Tuesday. But while Robin van Persie is grabbing the goalscoring plaudits, Evra wants to be sure Wayne Rooney's contribution is not being forgotten.
"People criticise really easily," said Evra. "They were talking about Robin so much I thought we've just got one striker. Robin's an amazing player and that's good but people mustn't forget what Wayne Rooney has done for this club."