Jonny Evans is adamant the fear of failure will drive Manchester United towards greater success.
With the extent of potential financial restraints laid bare in the prospectus for what turned out to be a successful £504million bond issue, there are plenty who now predict the end of a glory era at Old Trafford.
Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook might have bullish declared it is a question of when, not if, the Blues reach Wembley and he is not alone in believing this week's Carling Cup semi-final marks a handing over of the Mancunian baton.
With 11 league titles and two European Cup in his own incredible personal trophy haul, Sir Alex Ferguson scoffs at such talk.
And, as a relative newcomer, Evans has his own reasons for ensuring United do not lose their hard-earned status as England's number one.
"A big thing at this club is the fear of not winning anything and not finishing at the top," said the Northern Ireland international.
"The players want to be winners and there is something at the back of your mind that says you don't want to be part of a side that doesn't win anything.
"I am a young player who has come into the team over the last couple of seasons.
"I don't want to be remembered by the fans as someone who was part of a team that loses. You don't want to be known as a failure."
Ferguson has always maintained it is the agonising defeats that drive him on, rather than the glory nights, of which there are so many.
It is an attitude shared by dressing room leaders Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes and one that has already filtered its way down to Evans, who is set to partner Rio Ferdinand at the heart of United's defence at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
"All the great players have said it is the defeats that drive you on rather than the victories," said the 22-year-old. "It is the ones that have got away.
"The things you win get put to the back of your mind until your career has finished, then they can look back.
"When opportunities have slipped it is different. You don't want to lose things."
Ferdinand's return for the Wayne Rooney-dominated win over Hull was significant as it offers Ferguson an opportunity to reshape the side that performed well in the first-leg at Eastlands only to fall when Carlos Tevez began his heroics.
The inexperience of Rafael Da Silva was exposed by Craig Bellamy, so the Brazilian is set to be jettisoned in favour of Wes Brown in what will be an experienced back four.
After that, Ferguson's dilemma is how much attention to pay to Sunday's title showdown with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
It is hard to imagine Wayne Rooney being left out, while Giggs did enough last week to suggest he will be recalled along with record signing Dimitar Berbatov.
Though it brings his own place into question, especially when Nemanja Vidic is available again after a calf strain in a couple of weeks, Evans has welcomed the additional options at the back.
Not only is Ferdinand one of the key figures in United's squad, the competition for places his return brings should ensure greater quality from the men already present.
"It is a timely boost to have Rio back," said the Belfast-born defender.
"He has unbelievable experience and his stature in the game is even more important.
"Competition for places is always good. It is just natural that the standard will increase because it brings that added edge.
"If you are not doing the business, the manager will be quick enough to bring you off."Reuse content