at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Patrice Evra has warned his team-mates they deserve to be sacked if Manchester United let the Barclays Premier League title slip through their grasp again.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side won an explosive Manchester derby 3-2 on Sunday to move six points clear and end City’s two-year unbeaten run at home.
But the memory of blowing an eight-point lead in the final six games last season is still painful and Evra is determined to avoid a repeat.
‘I think Ferguson is going to sack everyone if we did that,’ said the Frenchman. ‘No, I’m serious. It would not be funny, for the fans, for the players, for everyone.
‘I remember what
happened. We were eight points clear and in the end we lost the league.’
Evra believes the psychological blow inflicted by Robin van Persie’s late strike and City’s first defeat in 38 Premier League games at the Etihad is even more significant than the lead itself.
‘It was more important to win at City and give a sign out to them,’ he added. ‘We also broke their record at home. Psychologically, it was really important to win against City.’
Meanwhile, it emerged yesterday that City goalkeeper Joe Hart asked Carlos Tevez to leave the defensive wall prior to Van Persie’s winner.
City manager Roberto Mancini was bemused by the sight of Tevez leaving his position next to Samir Nasri, in what had been a four-man wall, before Van Persie struck his free-kick.
In a heated dressing-room inquest, Hart is understood to have told Mancini that he told Tevez to move as he could not see.
Hart’s view was that Nasri was in a perfect position to block Van Persie’s shot and would have done so had he not then moved out of the way.
Mancini may have to rely on out-of-favour defender Joleon Lescott at Newcastle on Saturday.
Captain Vincent Kompany is not expected to recover from the hamstring strain he suffered on Sunday, even though initial tests have indicated that his absence should not be a long one. – Daily Mail