Manchester United skipper Patrice Evra has admitted the Red Devils “killed themselves” by tossing away an eight-point lead with just six games of the Barclays Premier League remaining.
United head to Sunderland on Sunday knowing not even victory will help them secure a record 20th championship if Manchester City beat QPR at the Etihad Stadium.
And Evra knows United have no-one to blame but themselves.
After all, when City lost at Arsenal last month, hours after United had beaten QPR, there appeared to be only one outcome.
“I don’t like to look into the past because the past can’t benefit the present,” said Evra.
“But it’s a reality. We killed ourselves when we were eight points clear with six points to go.
“We were winning 4-2 against Everton and then, in the last six minutes, ended up with a draw, at Old Trafford. I thought something like that wasn’t possible.
“It was a bad sign.”
Even after they had subsequently lost the Manchester derby to City, United still had a get-out when the Blues visited in-form Newcastle last week.
But Roberto Mancini’s men produced one of their best away performances of the season to secure a precious win, leaving United to pick themselves up off the floor immediately before their game against Swansea.
“We were really down because we expected a little miracle from Newcastle and it didn’t happen,” said Evra.
That has left United relying on relegation-threatened QPR to become only the second team to deny City victory on home soil in the Premier League this term.
However, Evra has not given up hope just yet.
“Maybe people will say I’m crazy or that I’m only saying this because I’m a Manchester United player, but I still believe we can win the title,” said Evra.
“I know the destiny is not in our hands and Sunderland is not an easy place to go but I think we will win in front of all their fans.
“We have no choice but to believe. If we want to keep believing in the miracle we have to beat Sunderland.”