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Feb 8, 2012

Suarez expects Old Trafford hostility

Luis Suarez is determined to put the race row with Manchester United's Patrice Evra behind him, but is expecting an unpleasant welcome when Liverpool travel to Old Trafford this weekend.

• Jolly on Suarez return
• Dalglish defends Suarez over ban

Suarez did not offer an apology to Evra after being slapped with an eight-match ban for being found guilty of racial abuse during a match at Anfield in October.

Ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash in Manchester, Suarez claims he has now moved on from the incident and is ready to use any abuse he receives from the United faithful as fuel to boost Liverpool's league position.

"I was not depressed at all [during suspension]. I knew what I did and there is a kind of football law that says 'what happens on the pitch, stays on the pitch and that's the end of the story'," Suarez told Uruguay's Radio Sport 890.

"I know against Man United it is going to be tense because I'm going to face Evra. But I'm used to having fans whistle at me. I hope nothing unusual happens. I'll have to forget what happened for that moment.

"I do know Man United fans are going to try to make me feel uncomfortable. But I have to tell them - they are going to spur me on if they whistle at me."

Show Racism the Red Card chief executive Ged Grebby has suggested Suarez only has himself to blame if he is given a hostile reception at Old Trafford.

"It's important we move on because this has been going on for months now," Grebby told The Telegraph. "I hope Manchester United fans take the moral high ground and they don't boo Suárez, but as an anti-racism campaigner I can understand why they might.

"He made things much worse by the reaction he had [to the FA charge]. If his reaction to it had been, 'I hold my hands up, I said it. I didn't realise it was wrong, but I do now', this whole thing would not have exploded like it has done.

"He should have held his hands up, he didn't do himself any favours refusing to accept he had done anything wrong. I just hope he has learned from it."

Meanwhile, PFA boss Gordon Taylor remains hopeful that a handshake will take place between Suarez and Evra in order to help ease tensions prior to the match.

"I would hope that would take place, that would be a sign that having gone through the situation that those two players would shake hands and we can move on," Taylor told Sky Sports News.

"If they can accept that having paid that penalty, like Suarez has, that you learn from it and move on. That's the only chance we've got, if we can do that. If you keep things festering it will only exacerbate how the problem was initially, and in that way we will be losing the battle."