After two great seasons in the United first team squad, Jonny Evans’ form dropped dramatically last season, with him repeatedly being shrugged off and outjumped by opponents.
In more recent times, whilst the likes of Darren Fletcher and John O’Shea have had long stints in the first team following poor form, the likes of Kieran Richardson and Phil Bardsley weren’t so lucky.
Evans has today spoken about how he had to have a change in attitude to make sure that he wasn’t another former youth team player who had to leave the club.
“If you look back over the years a lot of youngsters have come into the team and had a good season or two, then taken a little dip,” Evans said. “Sometimes you do think you are immune from it and maybe I took my eye off the ball a little bit. Maybe I relaxed a bit too much and thought it was going to come as easily as the previous two seasons. All of a sudden it hits you. You just have to regroup and have a word with yourself.”
He’s been playing well this season though, competing with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling for the central defensive positions when Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have been out with injury.
“I feel more assured now,” he said. “When you go through a stage of not playing well, there is a bit of pressure. Sometimes you can feel the crowd are getting on your back. In the end it was a case of ‘stuff it, what have I got to lose’. The thing in my favour was that I have never been one to shirk a challenge. Whenever things are tough, I always feel as though I can respond and not hide away. Now I go out there and relax, play my football and go home.”