In-form Everton have not won at Old Trafford in 19 years but former Manchester United goalkeeper Tim Howard is not daunted by the statistic.Howard believes that the Blues will take Saturday’s early game to Alex Ferguson’s title-chasing side.
“The way we’re going, they won’t take us lightly. It would be massive to go to Old Trafford and get a result because not many teams go there and do it,” Howard said.
“We know we’ve got our work cut out going there and doing it, but we’ve been in great form and although it’ll be hard we’ll give everything. They will take it to us but we feel good about ourselves.”
Everton are unbeaten in seven, and hope to include Mikel Arteta in their squad for the short trip to Manchester.
“There is that backs-against-the-wall chemistry again,” Howard, 32, said.
“We’ve got some of our best players out but it says a lot about the team and the manager and staff that we rally around each other.”
“We’ve gone on the training field with six first team players but we enjoy the training and each other’s company.”
League leaders United are six points clear of both Chelsea and Arsenal, for whom time appears to be running out.
United’s goalless draw at Newcastle on Tuesday was their ninth away from home this season.
Their away form is in sharp contrast to their record at Old Trafford where they have taken 46 points from a maximum 48 – a daunting prospect for any visiting club.
But Sir Alex Ferguson will have little time to dwell over the result with crucial league and Champions League games on the horizon against Arsenal and Schalke.
Given their heavy schedule, United midfielder Michael Carrick insisted the Red Devils must focus on their own results before looking over their shoulders.
“We’ve got to bounce back against Everton. It is a big game for us. We’re still in a good position and we have tough games ahead, but so have Arsenal,” he said.
“We don’t want to be looking at their results too much. We want to be winning the games ourselves.”
“It won’t be easy for them, but we’re in a position where we can afford to concentrate on ourselves and, if we pick up points, we don’t have to rely on anyone else.”
United, who drew 3-3 with the Toffees in the reverse fixture last September, will be without Paul Scholes who is still suspended for the clash while combative midfielder Darren Fletcher is likely to remain sidelined.