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

Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey looks very serious as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
tvGame of Thrones season 5 episode 1 review
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
News
i100
News
people
News
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
Sport
Fabian Delph celebrates his goal
footballChristian Benteke and Fabian Delph turn semi-final after Liverpool goal
Life and Style
Model wears: top £29.50, leggings £25, jacket £29.50, bag £25, all marksandspencer.com
fashion
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary
music
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

Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace