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WAYNE: WE CAN'T TAKE ANY MORE PAIN

After their Premier League hot streak came to an abrupt end on Saturday, Manchester United aim to ensure there are no nasty surprises in Transylvania tomorrow.

United take on Romanian champions CFR Cluj in the Champions League smarting from their first home defeat to Tottenham for 23 years, yet knowing if they can return to England with maximum points, they will have one foot into the knock-out stages.

And that at least would be one objective for the season completed after last season's unexpected exit at the group phase.

"The Champions League is completely different to the Premier League," said Wayne Rooney.

"If you are not at your best you get punished, which is what happened to us last season.

"We have to make sure that won't happen again this year so this is a big game for us.

"Hopefully we will get a win which will put us in a good position to go through so early on in the group."

Alex Ferguson has changed preparations this season.

It means United will delay their departure in order to have a final training session at their Carrington HQ before flying to Romania.

That will allow the United boss to check on the fitness of centre-half Jonny Evans.



SIDELINED

The Northern Ireland international limped out of the Spurs clash. And whilst Ferguson dismissed it as nothing more serious than a dead leg, with Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones already sidelined, rookie Scott Wootton could be handed a shock European bow if Evans fails to make it.

And, after transforming United's performance, if not the result, at Old Trafford, Rooney's contribution against Tottenham must surely put him in line for a start.

The 26-year-old is certainly up for the challenge given how highly he still rates the Champions League experience.

"I still think it is exciting," said Rooney.

"It is a great competition to be in.

"You look at the teams involved and it is a great challenge for everyone. It is something I love playing in."

Meanwhile, Patrice Evra believes United must improve vastly on their weekend showing if they are to have any chance of lifting the Premier League crown.

Of their six matches so far, the Red Devils have been behind in five. They have kept just one clean sheet and conceded nine goals.

And Evra knows it simply is not good enough.

"It is too much if we want to win the title," said the Frenchman.

"The result against Tottenham is what happens when you only play for 45 minutes.

"The game is 90 minutes long and we deserved to lose because we only played for 45. To concede three goals at Old Trafford is not good enough."

Indeed, Evra went further, questioning United's mentality.

"The problem is in our heads," he said.

"It looked like we stayed in the hotel. The first 45 minutes had no speed, no focus, we didn't win a lot of challenges and we conceded some silly goals.

"Maybe I am hard with myself and the team but we only showed the United face in the second half.

"This is not enough if we want to win the title."

Against Romanian opponents tomorrow, who took advantage of Braga's profligacy to record a surprise win in Portugal a fortnight ago, United cannot afford a repeat of what unfolded on Saturday.

"We have to be positive," said Evra.

"It's not a bad start to the season.

"We won at Anfield, which we didn't do last season, even if they played much better than us.

"We still have a lot to do, but we have to forget that first half against Spurs.

"I hope it was just an accident and we can get back the winning mentality that we showed in the second half in the Champions League and against Newcastle on Wednesday."



CHALLENGERS

Meanwhile, Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas dismissed any talk of his side being title challengers.

Jan Vertonghen and Gareth Bale gave the visitors a deserved half-time lead.

Not for the first time at Old Trafford in recent years, Spurs were hit by a fierce second-half fightback.

But, amid a flurry of goals, Clint Dempsey scored in between efforts from Nani and Shinji Kagawa. And, after Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick had struck the frame of Brad Friedel's goal, Andre Villas-Boas' side clung on for the final whistle.


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