Patrice Evra has issued a rallying cry as Manchester United bid to end their miserable season on a positive note, stating his belief that a top-four finish is possible and defending Cristiano Ronaldo
The Red Devils’ hopes of qualifying for the Champions League were dealt a major blow last Saturday, as interim manager Ralf Rangnick’s side suffered a bruising 3-1 defeat at the hands of Arsenal. Post-match, Rangnick claimed that United’s chance of clinching fourth has “gone,” with new boss Erik ten Hag taking up much of the column inches as their miserable campaign draws to a close.
But club icon and fan favourite Evra, who won five Premier League titles and one Champions League with the Red Devils under Sir Alex Ferguson, reckons that with only four games to go and their destiny out of their own hands, United can still salvage something from their woeful term. The Frenchman issued a rallying cry ahead of Thursday’s clash with Chelsea at Old Trafford and backed-up former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 22 goals to his name after spending much of the season being labelled a “problem.”
“Dear United fans, people keep asking me the question, ‘what do I think of Ten Hag?’ My answer is really simple,” Evra began in a video he posted on Twitter. “Ten Hag is not the present, he is the really near future. That’s why I want you to focus on the present, even if the present doesn’t look that good.
“We have still got four games left for the Champions League spots. I know most of you don’t believe in our team, but me, I believe. I believe in our team, I believe in this badge and I believe that history never dies. Everything can happen in football, so the players, I want you to prove that I am not the only crazy person to belief in your guys. We can do it.
“There’s a lot of negativity around the club, it’s not easy for you, but you have nothing to lose now. You can’t play under pressure, just give everything. For the players that believe, wear that shirt. For the players that don’t believe, go and see Rangnick and say, ‘I don’t wanna play, my season is over.
“That’s the kind of message I wanna give you because that’s where we are. We’re thinking about the future but my philosophy is to focus on the present. If you think about the past, you will live with regret. Focus on the present, the present is we still have a chance with four games left, give everything.
“I think Cristiano Ronaldo, we can’t talk about him anymore. He’s scored 22 goals and people are still talking about his age. Focus on the present. That’s why I have nothing to say about Ten Hag apart from you’re more than welcome to our club, I will support any manager because I will support my club for life. Forever red. Have a nice day.”
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While Evra’s confidence is clear, current defender Victor Lindelof provided a dim assessment in the lead-up to Chelsea’s visit. “This season obviously hasn’t been good enough and of course, we as players take responsibility for that,” Lindelof admitted, via manutd.com.
“Of course, when it’s tough you always have to stick together and work even harder. We tried, even if it’s been a very difficult season for us, and we’re still there fighting for the top four.”