Considering the raft of criticism leveled at the club in recent weeks, Manchester United players could be forgiven for feeling a little down beat.
Not so, Patrice Evra. The bullish full-back came out all guns blazing this week insisting United WILL win be crowned Premier League champions in May.
The Red Devils have lost their ruthless streak and failed to grab top spot at the weekend when they were held at Birmingham. A deluge of vitriol about the state of their finances has followed and the word crisis has become almost synonymous with Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
Chelsea have been earmarked as Champions-in-waiting while Arsenal are a point behind United with a game in hand. Yet Evra is adamant the title celebrations will be at Old Trafford once again this year.
'I am sure we will win the league this year,' he said. 'Tell me another team that would have nine defenders injured like that and still only be one point away from the leaders.
'Chelsea and Arsenal do have a game in hand but no-one else could do so well. We would definitely be well ahead at the top of the table without theseproblems.'
Given the negativity of the past few days, it was probably just as well United spent the last few days in Qatar.
We are the champions: Manchester United are put through their paces in Doha
Ferguson set up the visit mainly as a warm weather training expedition. There was also plenty of time for chat.
'It was a chance to make sure everyone understands we must not throw the league away,' said Evra. 'We talked a lot about tactics and what we needed to achieve until the end of the season. It is a chance to write the story.
'A lot of people talk about Manchester United's attack but if you look back at our last three titles, the real strength is the defence.
'The performance in Barcelona two years ago was the best performance of the entire team. When we are a unit like that, it is difficult to beat Manchester United.
'People say we are not going to win the title and we have dropped too many points. But I am proud and happy where we are.
'I fear no-one. I only fear Manchester United.'
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