Byline: SIMON STONE
WEST HAM v MANCHESTER UTD TONIGHT 7.45PM PATRICE EVRA has no intention of following Robin van Persie's example by leaping into Sir Alex Ferguson when he scores his next Manchester United goal.
Van Persie's instinctive reaction to ending a 10-game goal drought at Stoke on Sunday was to race to the away dugout and jump into the arms of the man who paid Arsenal PS24m to bring him to Old Trafford in the summer.
A clearly delighted Ferguson was left spluttering: "He nearly killed me, he forgets that I'm 71."
The Dutchman's reaction has created a great deal of hilarity in the United dressing room too, where it has been one of the chief topics of conversation.
Not that Evra dare a repeat.
"No chance. Never," said the France defender.
"Maybe I will do it with my team-mates. But not with the gaffer.
He is older. Patrice "Imagine I go in too strong against him. He could fall, then he might sack me. I will never do that."
Evra could barely keep a straight face as he delivered his assessment of Van Persie's reaction.
"Robin has had a lot of stick from us," said Evra. "It was nice. I could see a lot of love and emotion.
"It is the first time we saw that. Robin can tell you, for two or three days we have been getting at him. It is good to see love like that on the pitch sometimes."
The banter, even at the expense of such a high-profile personality, underlines the spirit within the United squad presently driving them towards a record 20th league title.
"I always say the atmosphere at this club is great," said Evra. "That is a big strength for Manchester United. To be fair, Robin told us he was really emotional. He had not scored for 10 games.
"He just showed the passion and the way he wanted to win. He just said 'hands up guys, it was an emotional game. …