Fergie praises Evra for shrugging off Kop flak
Published 21:32 10/02/12 By David Anderson
Sir Alex Ferguson has backed Patrice Evra to keep his cool when he faces Luis Suarez at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The Manchester United skipper will confront Suarez for the first time since the Liverpool star was banned for eight games for racially abusing him.
Fergie claims Evra has maintained his dignity throughout the ugly affair not least when the sides clashed at Anfield in the FA Cup two weeks ago.
The France full-back can expect to be targeted again during the lunchtime game between the bitter rivals, and Ferguson says he has the character to come through his reunion with Suarez.
"I think he's handled it well, I think he's coped," he said. "I don't think he enjoyed it at Liverpool, the abuse he got. But it happens.
"Gary Neville got it for 15 years, Wayne Rooney gets it when he plays against them. That's to be expected. We expected that and so did Patrice and I think he handled it quite well.
"He's handled being captain for us very well, so he carries on."
Ferguson is also proud of the way United have acted as a club and contrasted their behaviour with that of Liverpool.
"Well, they've said plenty, haven't they?" said the United manager in a veiled dig. "We've kept our counsel and it's the right thing to do in these situations. We will keep it that way too."
Fergie was unimpressed by Kenny Dalglish's claim after Suarez's return on Monday that the Uruguayan should never have been banned for eight games, saying they should have appealed if they felt so strongly.
"Why didn't they appeal then?" he said. "We're better putting that to bed. I said at the time, the way we have carried ourselves, we have just kept our counsel.
"We've just got on with our job. We've kept our dignity throughout and we're just concentrating on the game."
Despite the bad blood surrounding the game, Ferguson expects both sides and sets of fans to behave in the week United commemorated the 54th anniversary of the Munich disaster.
"Both clubs have had tragedies in relation to fans' deaths over the years," he said. "In our case, it was our players. I don't anticipate a problem with that."