Jonny Evans has called on his fellow Manchester United defenders to tighten up if they are to beat Manchester City in the upcoming derby.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s charges succumbed to an embarrassing 6-1 derby defeat at Old Trafford last term – a joint-worst losing margin for the team in the Premier League era – and have already conceded 21 goals so far this season.
However, a potent attacking threat sees United at the top of the table, three points ahead of Sunday’s opponents after coming from behind in more than half of their games.
But Evans believes the club cannot expect the same to happen against their rivals.
“We sort of had this predicament last year leading up to Christmas, where we scoring a lot of goals but also conceding a lot of goals,” Evans said.
“It was something that we had to have a look at, because we are playing so open and sometimes quite high up the pitch. We’ve pushed our full-backs on and that’s something you have to get the right balance between.
“I’m sure that is something we will eradicate from the game, but we don’t want to concede goals and give teams a chance to beat us or even take points of us.
“Whenever we do go a goal behind or two goals we never ever feel like we are out of the game. Being at this club you always know you’re going to score goals the way the manager sets us up and the way the coaches want us to play attacking football and create chances.”
Despite Roberto Mancini’s men winning the title on goal difference last season, Evans insisted that the United squad are not motivated by revenge, adding that the name of the current champions does not matter once a new campaign starts.
“It doesn’t matter who wins the title,” Evans said. “If we don’t win it or even if we do win it, the next year we go all out to make sure we win the league.
“Last season is forgotten about and all the years we didn’t win before is forgotten about. It’s all about how you can’t dwell on the past and do everything you can do to win the league this year.”