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Evans: I Had To Have A Word With Myself

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.”

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. CedarsDevil says:


    Its a fantastic attraction for tourists, great beaches, mountains and lots to see…. Many historic sites as well. Excellent night life, great food. Bit on the expensive side especially in the summer say between June and August and very difficult to actually find a room any where. As I said previously I would love to host anyone from RoM here. Any time of the year is good, depends what you like to do… Beaches and sunshine in the summer, snow skiing in winter, so its all there…. Decent baby sitting also available so no need to worry about your little angel.

  2. jim says:

    Live in Mumbai, craze for football is rapidly increasing here, when i started watching football 7 years ago hardly 3-4 people in school knew about football, but know most people support one or the other few friends who support liverpool always great banter, though i absolutely loathe chelsea, just can’t stand them.

  3. CedarsDevil says:

    By the way we are NOT off topic, how can we be off topic? Reds having a chat is never off topic….

    A United blog, United fans chat about anything they want….

    King Eric, Kings & smartalex – Come back soon fellas, this place needs you

  4. Jeet says:

    Actually, that sounds fucking great! and I just checked the prices for flights and hotels – seems reasonable. Will pop the idea to the missus. Who knows, maybe we watch United In Munich 2012 together? Mysterious are the ways of destiny…watch this space!!!!

  5. Samuel - united WE stand says:

    Sorry i thought this was a football blog not tourism promotion lol.

  6. Jeet says:

    @jim: the Indian chelsea fans are the worst of the lot…I have friends who are l’pool and Le’arse fans and I enjoy good banter with them. The chelsea fans are the stupid kids who discovered football one fine day on the telly during Mourinho days, and started supporting chelsea out of parental resentment (their dads supported united, and out of the natural urge to carve out a separate identity during teenage, they ended up as chelsea supporters). I find their knowledge of the game extremely shallow – and they are some of the most vapid, lukewarm football fans I have ever met.

  7. CedarsDevil says:

    Back to football

    Not so much about beating City on Sunday but more about breaking their hearts…. The 4-3 comes to mind, that late winner by Scholes, the come back from 2 nil down when Keane got the winner

    More of the same would do nicely

  8. CedarsDevil says:

    Samuel – :-)

  9. kanchelskis says:

    So Giggsy’s out for Sunday. Could Cleverly be rushed back?…

  10. jim says:

    Could not agree more, i have a friend who supports chelsea, and once i asked him who was the manager before mourinho, and he had no idea. I mean if you really love your club you want to know more about it. Just a few days back i watched the entire season review of the historic 92-93 season, and really you feel proud of your club. Felt good watching the like of hughes, The King, the great dane, bruce and pallister, ince, sharpe..was great fun. And a very young and fast Ryan Giggs. Once exams get over will watch all season uptil 2004.

  11. jim says:

    We really seemed to have bad luck with penalties that season. Went out in europe against torpedo moscow on penalties, and bruce missed a penalty in the fa cup which would have got us back on level terms. Also very interesting was the way we actually bought Cantona, Sir Alex said it was just a casual phone call which led to the purchase. Leeds would have been gutted!!

  12. sandeep1878 says:


    Hello mate,

    i doubt if Tom will be rushed for this game, having said that, u never know with Sir Alex.


    i would love a win of that kind, 4-3 or Scholesy header at the death end, expect the same,

    i would bet Rooney to rob them again..

    and i m also excited to see Aguero first hand, letc what our defenders have in store for us..

    but as someone said earlier, we would entertain and at the same time win the game because that is what we do at Old Trafford..

    Manchester United

  13. Samuel - united WE stand says:

    Cedars – i’m only joking buddy, the ‘lol’ at the end should have probably given you the idea.

  14. CedarsDevil says:

    Samuel – Of course I knew you were joking my friend, hence the smiley face!

  15. CedarsDevil says:


    That someone was me! hahaha

  16. sandeep1878 says:

    Just as the derby is around the corner, some stats

    Top Goal Scorers in the Manchester Derby
    Joe Hayes – Manchester City – 10
    Francis Lee- Manchester City 10
    Bobby Charlton – Manchester United 9
    Colin Bell – Manchester City 8
    Eric Cantona Manchester United 8
    Joe Spence Manchester United 8
    Paul Scholes Manchester United 7
    Dennis Viollet Manchester United 7

  17. sandeep1878 says:





  18. CedarsDevil says:

    Ah Dennis Violet, a true United flower……. RIP you legend

  19. CedarsDevil says:

    159 goals in 259 games in some record

  20. CedarsDevil says:

    is not in ffs!

  21. CedarsDevil says:

    The key to winning on Sunday will not be about team selection or tactics, it will be about United beating City…. Silly and stupid comment some may say but trust me its not. Sir Alex will set his team out with only one intention and that is a win… Lose and I ‘ll fucking murder ya will be the message

    The roar at OT should be great, time again to keep them scum blue bitters in their place

  22. kanchelskis says:

    Pathetic to see City backing down in the Tevez affair. Apparently he will now be charged only with ‘refusing to warm up’ rather than refusing to play.

    What the fuck is the difference? Who’s ever taken to the field without warming up? By refusing to warm up he’s still excluded the possibility of him being subbed on.

    Says it all about that club though. Even the most crass acts of unprofessionalism and lack of regard for the team can be forgiven as long as it means getting good players on the pitch. If anyone – ANYONE – had treated Fergie like that, they’d be a gonner.

  23. kanchelskis says:


    You’re bang on. Tactics, formations, selection, pretty much get sidelined in games of this magnitude. Whoever wants to win more, will win.

    This is why the absence of Scholes, Neville, and now Giggsy make me slightly nervous for this one. And it’s also what makes me think Welbeck will get a start. If anyone on our side bleeds red, it’s him, even if he’s only young. He will get fired-up-as-fuck for this one if he plays – his first Manchester derby. I’m already dreaming of him shrugging off Kompany and netting the winner (easier said than done!).

  24. CedarsDevil says:


    Exactly! Agreed about your concern on Giggs, its true reds that we need for this type of game. Welbeck will be up for it no doubt, hope he starts I also hope Clev is back… This game will suit him very well and more than most he will know how sweet it is to beat the bitters

  25. CedarsDevil says:

    Would not mind Danny kissing his badge in front of the 11 City fans making the trip… In fact I would not mind if he is sent off for tearing his shirt off……

    Make that better, Clev netting the third and also getting his second yellow for his celebrations…. His first was for smashing Barry to pieces

  26. kanchelskis says:


    Playing Tom would have its advantages and disadvantages.

    The advantage would be the element of surprise. Mancini won’t be expecting it, and he would bring a different dimension to our play which perhaps City wouldn’t be ready for. I mean look what happened when he came off the bench in the Community Shield!

    The obvious disadvantage is that it’s a big gamble on his fitness. If he does start, we can’t expect him to last beyond 60 minutes. I guess we’d have to hope that he can a) keep up with the pace and b) have a positive impact during that time. After which, he’d be subbed – I imagine for Carrick or Fletcher.

  27. sandeep1878 says:

    Easy my friend cedars :P

    We need the players for next games as well :P

  28. Costas says:

    Just putting it out there, but has anyone considered the possibility that Mancini blew a misunderstanding with Tevez out of proportion? No one seems to confirm his side of the story. Not even Platt and Kidd.

    Anyway, Fergie didn’t say anything about Giggs or Tom today, but I assume that both are long shots for Sunday.

  29. Vishal S says:

    from down south mate.

  30. kanchelskis says:


    Thing is, when Tevez was asked directly afterwards, he said ‘it didn’t feel right’, which seemed to confirm his refusal to play. Thing is, he still doesn’t speak a word of English, so a communication breakdown could be possible. But that statement seems to suggest he knew exactly what he was doing,

    The Time are saying Giggs has done his hammy and is out for 2 weeks. Seems like a strange thing to make up.

  31. Costas says:


    Ah ok then. It’s just that Sir Alex made no mention of it. But then again, he only gave injury updates for those that travelled to Romania. A hamstring injury is to be expected of Giggs at this point. Lets hope Tom is ready for Aldershot.

    As for Tevez, I have a feeling there’s more this than meets the eye. I find it very strange that no one else is confirming Mancini’s version of the story. I hate giving the troll the benefit of the doubt, but maybe he didn’t understand or he didn’t make Mancini understand? Who knows?

  32. Clint-iamyourpapii says:

    My Team would be;

    DDG, Smalling,Rio,Vida,Evra,Nani,Fletch,Ando,Young,Welbeck, Rooney
    Subs; Clevs,Chico & Carrick to come on. 3C’s 8)

    Shitty will most likely play;
    Hart,Richards,Kompany, Lescott,Clichy,De Jong,Toure,Silva,Nasri,Balotelli,Aguero
    Subs; Milner might get the nod ahead of Naseri, if they play for the draw they’ll start one striker and put Mario on the wings for Nasri & Silva to go central to jam pack the middle to stay top of table.

    The Silva & Aguero partnership worry me because they;ll go toe to toe with a out of position Evra and rash last ditch Vida tackle. Carrick or Fletcher have to be on stunning form and Ando has to light up our middle because in this match if the middle doesn’t show up we will crumble.

    The Return of Rio + Vida are a huge boost :D Welbeck to score

  33. Zibbie says:

    I’m a crazy bugger who would welcome you Jeet with open arms. I’m the good kind of crazy!!!

  34. Marq says:

    My point about Evans bulking up. Go look at the Liverpool game again and see how many times Suarez manage to hold him off and take the long ball under control.

  35. myter says:

    i guess today hes not having word with himself…

  36. bchilds says:

    Shame it wasn’t “must not get myself sent off”.


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