Jump on Sir Alex Ferguson to celebrate a goal? He might sack me, says Manchester United defender Patrice Evra

Robin van Persie celebrated at the weekend by leaping on the United manager

Patrice Evra has no intention of following Robin van Persie's example by leaping into Sir Alex Ferguson when he scores his next Manchester United goal.

Van Persie's instinctive reaction to ending a 10-game goal drought at Stoke on Sunday was to race to the away dugout and jump into the arms of the man who paid Arsenal £24million to bring him to Old Trafford in the summer.

A clearly delighted Ferguson was left spluttering: "He nearly killed me, he forgets that I'm 71."

The Dutchman's reaction has created a great deal of hilarity in the United dressing room too, where it has been one of the chief topics of conversation.

Not that Evra dare a repeat.

"No chance. Never," said the France defender.

"Maybe I will do it with my team-mates. But not with the gaffer. He is older.

"Imagine I go in too strong against him. He could fall, then he might sack me. I will never do that."

Evra could barely keep a straight face as he delivered his assessment of Van Persie's reaction.

"Robin has had a lot of stick from us," said Evra.

"It was nice. I could see a lot of love and emotion.

"It is the first time we saw that. Robin can tell you, for two or three days we have been getting at him. It is good to see love like that on the pitch sometimes."

The banter, even at the expense of such a high-profile personality, underlines the spirit within the United squad presently driving them towards a record 20th league title.

"I always say the atmosphere at this club is great," said Evra.

"That is a big strength for Manchester United. To be fair, Robin told us he was really emotional. He had not scored for 10 games.

"He just showed the passion and the way he wanted to win. He just said 'hands up guys, it was an emotional game. I did it, it is OK, we can move on now'."

United have now moved on from Stoke to West Ham, where they play tomorrow searching for the first three of the seven points still needed to grab the Premier League trophy back from Manchester City.

Outside their Carrington training complex, most assume the task has already been completed. Even up the road at City the towel has been hurled in.

Ferguson refuses to think like that until the job is finished, though, and evidently none of his players are thinking that way either after their manager urged them to realign their sights after three big defeats to Real Madrid, Chelsea and City in the space of a month.

"The boss is a winner," he said.

"He said before the Stoke game that the season starts now. He has just told us to win the seven games that are left. That shows you the way he wants to win this 20th title. He told us not to think about the title, just think about winning these seven games.

"We can still break the (points) record so the challenge for us is to win the seven games we have left.

"It won't be easy but that is the way the boss wants us to play."

Ferguson has confirmed there are no fresh injury concerns for the West Ham trip, with Ashley Young and Paul Scholes still ruled out by ankle and knee problems respectively.

Ryan Giggs and Tom Cleverley will both hope for a recall to the midfield berth occupied by Wayne Rooney at Stoke, whilst Rafael, Danny Welbeck and Nani are amongst those eager to play some part.

"We have a good, strong squad," Ferguson told MUTV.

"We took 20 players with us to Stoke and those 20 players will go with us again tomorrow."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind"

News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
football

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album