Patrice Evra demands rapid Manchester United recovery


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The Independent Football

Manchester United defender Jonny Evans wants to quickly forget last night's shock Carling Cup loss to Crystal Palace.

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson apologised to fans after the Championship side claimed an unexpected place in the semi-finals with a 2-1 victory in extra time at Old Trafford.

United looked set to gain the upper hand after a Federico Macheda penalty cancelled out Darren Ambrose's wonder strike but Glenn Murray settled the tie with a header in the 98th minute.

Evans had been restored to the United side, and handed the captain's armband, as manager Sir Alex Ferguson made 10 changes but he could only rue the team's performance.

The Northern Ireland international told MUTV: "We're very disappointed not to be in the semi-finals.

"I thought we would go on after we scored, and going into the first period of extra time, playing towards the Stretford End, I thought we'd have a chance of getting a goal and seal it from there.

"But they went down the other end and scored against the run of play really. We had a lot of possession but we couldn't break them down.

"A lot of our play was in front of them and I think the only way we were going to get in was down the side, but we didn't manage to do that as well as Manchester United can. We didn't get a lot of crosses into the box.

"The games are coming thick and fast and the manager will need his squad.

"So we need to pick ourselves up and hopefully win on Saturday."

United return to Barclays Premier League action with a trip to Aston Villa this weekend.

A number of rested stars are likely to return but with the likes of Evans, Park Ji-sung, Dimitar Berbatov and Antonio Valencia on duty, United were hardly lacking in top-level experience against Palace.

Defender Chris Smalling also started as he continued his return from a foot injury.

Berbatov will be doubtful for the weekend after MUTV reported the Bulgarian, who did not return for the second half, had left Old Trafford with his foot in a protective boot.

Fabio, the only survivor in the side from weekend draw with Newcastle, also has a problem after limping out of the action in the first half.

Evans was making his 100th United appearance but the result overshadowed that landmark and the honour of leading out the side.

Yet, having made his debut in a Carling Cup loss to Coventry four years ago, he knows the club have the capacity to recover.

He said: "Before the game I was delighted to be given the armband, but I'd happily take that away to have the victory instead.

"It's good that the manager plays the younger lads but unfortunately we've not managed to get the result.

"My first game was in the Carling Cup and it didn't turn out as well as we expected, but the lads have got to keep focused and work hard on their games."