Evra warns of mental fatigue

MANCHESTER - Patrice Evra has warned Manchester United ahead of today's clash with West Ham that they are in danger of letting mental tiredness ruin their bid to land a fourth successive Premier League title.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side looked lethargic in their shock 3-1 defeat at Everton on Saturday, which allowed rivals Chelsea to open up a four-point lead at the top of the table.

It was United's sixth league defeat of the season and what made it more surprising was that it came hot on the heels of their highly impressive Champions League victory against AC Milan at the San Siro.

France international Evra knows Ferguson's men can't afford any more slip-ups if they are to haul in Chelsea.

But the defender admits Ferguson's squad are suffering from fatigue at just the wrong time and might have lost some of the belief that they can overcome Carlo Ancelotti's leaders.

"Everton was very disappointing and we're very upset. I would like to give an excuse, to say we're very tired after the amazing night in San Siro," Evra said. "But I don't want to give that excuse because I think we didn't believe we could win."

West Ham will arrive at Old Trafford high on confidence after a thumping win over Hull that lifted them clear of the relegation zone. - Sapa-AFP