Liverpool chief calls for Man Utd calm

Luis Suarez
© PA Photos
Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre calls for calm ahead of Saturday's FA Cup fourth round tie against Manchester United at Anfield.

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has called for calm ahead of Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie against Manchester United at Anfield.

Striker Luis Suarez was handed an eight-match ban by the Football Association last month for alleged racist abuse towards United defender Patrice Evra when the two sides met in October.

Ayre is hoping that the two sets of fans do not let recent events sour the atmosphere during the match.

"It is the FA Cup, a great competition in English football and one we have a great history in and we want that to be what everyone focuses on," Ayre told BBC Readio Merseyside.

"We have massive rivalry with Manchester United but those who are respectful also have respect for them because they are a great footballing side and team and like us they have been very successful.

"We mustn't detract from fans chanting and singing at each other but it needs to be a rivalry thing rather than a hatred thing."

Liverpool booked their place in the Carling Cup final on Wednesday night with a 3-2 aggregate victory over Manchester City.

Patrice Evra
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