English Premiership

Hungry United eye title charge

2013-12-31 09:48
Patrice Evra (AFP)

Manchester - Patrice Evra believes Manchester United have got their hunger back as the Premier League champions look to make it five league wins in a row against Tottenham on New Year's Day.

United moved up to sixth with a narrow 1-0 win over Norwich on Saturday, marking the half-way point of what has been an inconsistent season for the reigning champions, who are still adapting to life under new manager David Moyes.

They now face Spurs and new boss Tim Sherwood at Old Trafford on Wednesday as they enter the second half of the campaign eight points adrift of leaders Arsenal and three points behind fourth-placed Everton in the race for Champions League qualification.

But France defender Evra believes his team-mates have now recovered their hunger and are looking forward to mounting a charge in 2014 in a bid to retain their title.

"I'm just looking at the present moment in time," he said. "The team is now playing better, we have that winning mentality and United spirit which was missing at the start of the season.

"I can see that our hunger has come back, so I'm confident, but I don't want to talk about the title.

"I just want to talk about the next game, Tottenham at home on Wednesday. We need to make sure that we win and that we keep the momentum going."

United striker Wayne Rooney missed the win over Norwich with a slight groin strain, while his fellow forward Robin van Persie is nearing a return after missing a number of weeks with a thigh strain, although Moyes remains coy about the timetable for the Dutchman's comeback.

"Robin has started some light training and he might not be too far away," said Moyes.

"We haven't often had Robin and Wayne as a strike partnership, so I look forward to getting them back together."

Evra is also desperate to have the pair back and he believes that when they return, United will have the strongest team in the Premier League.

"The squad is strong but it is not only about one player," he added.

"We were also without Wayne and Robin when we played against Stoke, and when they come back we'll be even stronger, which is why I'm so happy.

"With them, we are the strongest team in the Premier League, so we have to keep winning -- with or without them."

Tottenham head to Old Trafford unbeaten in three Premier League games since the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas and boosted by a convincing 3-0 victory over Stoke on Sunday.

That brought an end to a disappointing run of results at White Hart Lane and was kick-started by a penalty from Roberto Soldado, the Spain forward's first league goal in two months.

"It was a really important win for us because we haven't won at home for a while," Soldado said.

"Of course scoring the goal felt good and that started us off for a fantastic win.

"We were really ambitious and went at them from the first minute. That paid off. We pressed and pressed and winning the game meant everything to us."

Sherwood's team selections have so far made the most of the attacking options at his disposal and Belgian midfielder Mousa Dembele, who was also on target against Stoke, insists Spurs have no reason to fear the trip to Manchester.

"I am not scared to go there," Dembele said.

"They are a top team and we have a lot of respect for them of course, but we have a very good team too.

"We can't have too much respect. We have to play our own game. We can do something there, why not?"

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
20 April 2014
Norwich City v Liverpool, Carrow Road 13:00
Hull City v Arsenal, The KC Stadium 15:05
Everton v Manchester United, Goodison Park 17:10
21 April 2014
Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion, Etihad Stadium 21:00
26 April 2014
Southampton v Everton, St. Mary's Stadium 13:45
Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur, Britannia Stadium 16:00
Fulham v Hull City, Craven Cottage 16:00
Swansea City v Aston Villa, Liberty Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United, The Hawthorns 16:00
Manchester United v Norwich City, Old Trafford 18:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team do you think will win the English Premiership?

 
 
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.