Evra refreshed for United charge

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Patrice Evra is ready for the climax of the Premier League title race after being given a two-week break following his confrontation with Liverpool's Luis Suarez.

Evra, 30, is set to captain Manchester United against Norwich at Carrow Road this afternoon, 15 days after United's explosive 2-1 victory at Old Trafford.

Suarez, who recently returned from an eight-match ban for racially abusing the United skipper in October, refused to shake Evra's hand, while Ferguson was critical of Evra's pointed celebrations afterwards.

Evra stayed in Manchester when United played their Europa League first leg in Ajax last week and was left on the bench for the return game at Old Trafford on Thursday but will now be tasked with leading United's pursuit of City from the front.

"The intention was always to give Patrice a clean break away from it all after the Suarez thing," Ferguson said.

"He needed that rest factor because don't forget also he's been playing non-stop for four years, but he's nice and fresh now and he's had his break.

"It was a difficult time mentally for him with everything that's been going on and after the Liverpool game was over that was the right time to give him the break mentally. What we also needed to do was give him a break physically so he's nice and fresh for the run in."

Utility man Phil Jones feels that United's old heads will be the difference as they look to overcome their rivals City before May.

He said: "It's experience. Myself, I'm new to this, but the likes of Rio [Ferdinand], Scholesy [Paul Scholes], Giggsy [Ryan Giggs], all the players who have been there and done it before, I think that will push us over the edge.

"Earlier in the season we were dropping points where we knew we should have been picking them up. We know it's a long season and we're all excited about the run-in."

Norwich City v Manchester United kicks off today at 1.30pm

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss