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The Frenchman believes the win on Sunday showed "big character" and proved team cannot be written off, but admits Sir Alex Ferguson was right not to be happy with the performance

Patrice Evra insists Manchester United are still a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League after dumping title rivals Manchester City out of the FA Cup.

Roberto Mancini’s side put up a late comeback with two second-half goals after going three down in the first, but it was not enough and United progressed to the fourth round with a 3-2 victory.

The win over the Italian’s men followed two straight Premier League defeats, but Evra believes the victory shows United are still as strong as ever and cannot be written off.

“Manchester United never die,” Evra told reporters. “A lot of people forget that, they don’t want to respect the story [of the club].

“But when you have the story behind this club, you know that when there’s a difficult moment you’ll answer back, because everyone in this team has a big character, a big personality.

“If we hadn’t shown that we would have lost the game. But we know we’re strong.

“The manager told us it was a big game and that we had to go out and show what Manchester United is all about – and that’s what we showed.

“He told us that we’re not going to win every game just because we’re Manchester United. We had to walk out and play with the Manchester United spirit, and that’s what we did in the first half.

“Even though we lost two games in a row, I didn’t think everything was over.”

The Frenchman has also revealed manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s disappointment with their performance in the latter period of their win over City, but insisted it was still a positive day for the club.

“The manager wasn’t happy with the second half and he’s right because we didn’t kill the game by scoring more goals and they scored two,” said Evra.

“But, in the end, there’s a lot of satisfaction because many people before the game were saying that Manchester United wouldn’t win.

“When I came to this club six years ago, they had already gone out of the Champions League at the first stage and people said it was over for United. But since then we’ve been in the Champions League four times and won the league four times.

“The most important thing is believing in yourself.”

Veteran Paul Scholes surprisingly came out of retirement on Sunday, and his return has been warmly welcomed by his team-mates.

Evra added: “It was great news, a big surprise. I never understood why he stopped. He’s the type of player who embodies the story of the club. It’s a big boost for everyone.”

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