PATRICE Evra has urged Manchester United to prove they are England’s finest at Stoke on Sunday.
Even Roberto Mancini has admitted Manchester City’s derby triumph at Old Trafford on Monday night will not affect the outcome of the Premier League title race. With a 12-point lead and claim United are not as good as their apparently impregnable position would suggest.
There can be no way of regaining Mancunian bragging rights until the two sides next meet, which could come as soon as August’s Community Shield at Wembley. But Evra knows the doubters can be silenced by a return to the form that gained United their big lead in the first place.
“I hear a lot of people talking about us, saying we didn’t deserve the 15 point lead,” said Evra. “But if we are here it is because we are working hard and we deserve to win this title. We have to make sure we win at Stoke on Sunday and show we are the best team in England.”
With that belief that some kind of gloss is still required for the campaign, it could be bad news for a Stoke outfit who have slithered to the edge of the relegation precipice.
“The most important thing is to win the title,” said Evra. “We are in a great position but we don’t want to put pressure on ourselves. Nothing is going to be easy until the end of the season.
“Stoke is always a difficult place. We have to be ready for the fight.”