MANCHESTER, United Kingdom - Patrice Evra believes Manchester United have got their hunger back as the Premier League champions look to make it five league wins in a row against Tottenham on New Year's Day.
United moved up to sixth with a narrow 1-0 win over Norwich on Saturday, marking the half-way point of what has been an inconsistent season for the reigning champions, who are still adapting to life under new manager David Moyes.
They now face Spurs and new boss Tim Sherwood at Old Trafford on Wednesday as they enter the second half of the campaign eight points adrift of leaders Arsenal and three points behind fourth-placed Everton in the race for Champions League qualification.
But France defender Evra believes his team-mates have now recovered their hunger and are looking forward to mounting a charge in 2014 in a bid to retain their title.
"I'm just looking at the present moment in time," he said. "The team is now playing better, we have that winning mentality and United spirit which was missing at the start of the season.
"I can see that our hunger has come back, so I'm confident, but I don't want to talk about the title.
"I just want to talk about the next game, Tottenham at home on Wednesday. We need to make sure that we win and that we keep the momentum going."
United striker Wayne Rooney missed the win over Norwich with a slight groin strain, while his fellow forward Robin van Persie is nearing a return after missing a number of weeks with a thigh strain, although Moyes remains coy about the timetable for the Dutchman's comeback.
"Robin has started some light training and he might not be too far away," said Moyes.
"We haven't often had Robin and Wayne as a strike partnership, so I look forward to getting them back together."