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Manchester United's blip is just 'a little accident' says Patrice Evra
Published : 25 Mar 2009 19:09:12Rss feed
The French defender is as baffled as the rest of his Old Trafford team-mates as to how they have had their aura of invincibility shattered, first by Liverpool and then Fulham as what looked like a Premier League title procession has turned into a dogfight. But Evra remains confident United will be able to put their blip behind them when Sir Alex Ferguson's squad reconvenes after international duty next week. Related ArticlesUnited eager to make amends on pitchGary Neville is 'role model' for Liverpool youthLiverpool love-in for realVidic should be Footballer of the Year, says FerdinandPatrice Evra agrees new Man United dealGerard Pique leaves Man United for BarcelonaHe said: "I have been at Manchester United for three years now and this is the first time I have lost two straight matches. But I am sure it is just a little accident." Evra's confidence is matched by that of team-mate Rio Ferdinand, who believes the champions' greater experience, as well as their putative four-point lead, stands them in good stead for the resumption of domestic hostilities in nine days' time. But the England international believes Ferguson's side will have to win all of their remaining league games if they are to see off an increasingly stern challenge from a resurgent Liverpool side. "That's always the case at this stage of the season," Ferdinand said. "We have gained some great experience that it comes down to winning at all costs, so hopefully we can lean on that." However, midfielder Darren Fletcher conceded that their task will be made harder by the combined effects of suspension, international travel and their commitments in the Champions League. "We would have been desperate for another league game but unfortunately the international break has come along," he said. "Hopefully it's just a setback but it's easy talking about it, you have got to prove that on the pitch." Ferguson will have to juggle his resources as best he can for the visit of Aston Villa a week on Sunday, a game that comes just 48 hours before the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash with Porto. Nemanja Vidic, nominated by Ferdinand as United's player of the season, will miss the game through suspension, while Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes will join him on the sidelines. United will also face a battle to engage the services of Ji-Sung Park, who is in Seoul for South Korea's derby with the North next week, and Anderson, who is in the Brazil squad for a double header with Ecuador and Peru. Of the 20 United players called up for international duty, though, it is Carlos Tevez who will concern Ferguson most. With Rooney missing, the Argentine should be in line to face Villa but he will have to overcome the long flight back from La Paz, where Diego Maradona's side face Bolivia on Wednesday, as well as the effects of playing at an altitude of 3,600 metres.
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