West Ham full back Patrice Evra has admitted that he has to lead by example at his new club.
The Frenchman, who had his contract terminated by Marseille after he kicked a fan in the face before a Europa League match against Vitoria back in November, joined the Hammers in February on a free transfer and now has the responsibility of helping develop the club's younger players.
Patrice Evra made a lovely gesture after the game yesterday. After noticing young Hammer Josh crying during the crowd issues, Evra went over, said how it broke his heart to see how upset he was, kissed him on the head and gave him his shirt.— West Hαm Sociαl (@WestHamSocial) March 11, 2018
Fair play @Evra 👏⚒ pic.twitter.com/WiN3w0jpKI
“Coming in at my age, there’s massive responsibility on my shoulders,” the 36-year-old told West Ham's official website. “You have to lead by example. Before you can say anything to a younger player and guide them with your words, you have to show them good examples and lead with your actions. You have to work hard in training, and do your job in the games.
“It’s in my character to do that anyway, and I’m not someone who has anything to prove. When you’re in a leadership position, your most important job is to create more leaders around you. I like to do that and I strive to do that. I want to see my teammates – particularly the younger ones – getting better and playing well. The most important thing is the team.
“This role fits my personality so, for me, it was the perfect fit to come to West Ham.”
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Evra, who turns 37 in May, also hinted that he will keep on playing as long as he feels he's fit.
“I’ve got a lot of friends who said things like ‘You’ve got nothing to prove so why do you keep playing?’ But it’s in my DNA. I can’t stop," he added.
"Why would I want to stop? If I wasn’t fit then, of course, I would be questioning myself. But I’m fit and I know what I am doing."