Patrice Evra hits out at Manchester United critics

Reds are closing in on their 20th league title

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The Independent Football

Full-back Patrice Evra will be happy to “pay the musician” who acknowledges Manchester United's Barclays Premier League title triumph.

Although United dropped a couple of points at West Ham on Wednesday, they now only require six more from their remaining five games to seal a 20th championship.

With a home game against relegation-threatened Aston Villa looming on Monday and a Swansea team with nothing to play for due to visit Old Trafford next month, the goal should be achieved easily enough without bothering about more tricky assignments against Arsenal and Chelsea.

And that, in Evra's view, would be enough to silence the critics who feel this is well short of a vintage United squad.

"You have to accept the criticism," he said.

"But in France we say we pay the musician at the end of the show.

"I hope we are going to be paying this year."

Evidently though, Evra is irritated at what he feels is a repeated refusal to acknowledge United's character.

Twice they battled from behind to secure a precious point at Upton Park - in a throwback to the early weeks of the campaign, when United repeatedly fought their way back from losing positions.

Against Villa in November, United were two goals down five minutes into the second-half.

Yet they still emerged with maximum points thanks to Javier Hernandez's late winner.

Victories like that are the reason United have established such a handsome advantage over Manchester City and almost certainly will allow them to repel the Blues, despite their recent impressive form.

But Evra has noticed the Red Devils' comeback story is so old, it rarely generates a flicker of interest any more.

"Because it is Manchester United people don't give us a lot of credit," said Evra.

"They just say 'oh, okay, they escaped, they came back'.

"If it is another team they say what great character they have, what a great team they are.

"But we have not escaped. This is character. This is personality. It is the reason we are in the position we are.

"I don't see anyone with more character than this team."