Patrice Evra says Manchester United “deserved to lose” to Tottenham on Saturday, citing a sluggish first-half display as the deciding factor in the Barclays Premier League defeat at Old Trafford.
The Frenchman had hoped the Reds could stage a second-half comeback, having trailed by two goals at the break, but conceded the slow start was too much of a handicap to overcome.
“This is what happens when you only play for 45 minutes,” a disappointed Evra toldMUTV. “The game is 90 minutes long and we deserved to lose because we only played for 45. To concede three goals at Old Trafford is not good enough when you want to win the game.
“The problem is about our heads – it looked like we stayed in the hotel. The first 45 minutes had no speed, no focus, we didn’t win a lot of challenges and we conceded some silly goals. Maybe I am hard with myself and the team but we only showed the United face in the second half.
“I remember, it was three years ago, when we were losing 2-0 [against Spurs] and we won the game 5-2. That is why I believed we could do it again but their third goal killed us a little bit. We scored again to make it 3-2 but missed a lot of chances afterwards.
“You could say we maybe deserved to win because we created a lot of chances, but we were punished in the first half and that is really painful. If we want to talk about positive things, we need to make sure we play like we did in the second half, so it’s difficult for any team to beat us.
“We played with a different attitude and mentality in the second half, with speed and the anger. We had a winning mentality but we have to play like this from the first minute. That is why I say our problem was inside the head.
“It wasn’t tactics or because people were tired. We couldn’t play a second half like that and make an excuse about being tired. It is just about our head. We didn’t start well and we have been punished.”
Looking to the future, Evra insists United have made a positive start to the season but says his team-mates must replicate their second-half performance against Tottenham in forthcoming matches against CFR Cluj and Newcastle.
“We have to be positive. It’s not a bad start to the season. We won at Anfield, which we didn’t do last season, even if they played much better than us. We still have a lot to do, but we have to forget that first half against Spurs.
“I hope it was just an accident and we can get back the winning mentality in the Champions League and against Newcastle.”
*Article courtesy of manutd.com and Mark Froggatt
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