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Evans wants regular United role
Published : 08 May 2010 13:37:00
Jonny Evans has progressed so far at Manchester United that he is no longer content to play second fiddle to Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. With Ferdinand now recovered from the groin injury that has kept him out for a month, Sir Alex Ferguson is set to name his first-choice defensive pairing for only the 15th time this season when his side entertain Stoke tomorrow. Yet, although it still seems quite sensible for Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic to command starting slots, it is a measure of the giant strides Evans has made in the last two years that he does not regard the move as automatic. At 22, the Northern Ireland star has already established himself as a key man in United's future development and he will be upset if he is not in the starting line-up against Stoke. "It is a boost when I get picked but it has probably got to the stage where I would feel disappointed if the manager said he was playing both of them ahead of me," said Evans. "The manager can get away with rotating other positions but he does like a settled centre-back pairing and a settled goalkeeper. He believes that transmits through the team. "So I am sure there will come a day, maybe tomorrow, when I will be disappointed to be left out." It may not be the only setback Evans has to cope with either. United are in with a chance of landing a record fourth consecutive title but the odds are overwhelmingly against them with a Chelsea win over Wigan earning them the trophy. Evans is confident his team-mates will be fully motivated, though, just in case Latics can cause a shock at Stamford Bridge. "We cannot afford to have any regrets," he said. "If something did happen and we failed to take advantage, it would be one of the biggest regrets of your life. "We have to try and win the game and I am sure the manager will tell us to express ourselves and put on a good performance. "This is not a situation I have experienced before. "I guess it is only natural to have an eye on the other game and try to get a reaction from the crowd. "But you never know exactly why certain things happen. If the crowd cheer it could be for a goal or a streaker coming onto the pitch. "I am sure the information will come across somehow but if we are being honest, we are expecting Chelsea to do well because they are at home where they are so hard to beat." It is another experience Evans will be able to file away for future use, along with a league title, two Carling Cups and the Club World Cup. For someone so young, in such a key position, it is an impressive CV Evans is starting to compile. And, having signed a new four-year contract yesterday, Evans is hoping for plenty of further additions. "You are always going to be involved in big matches playing with Manchester United," he said. "I relish the big games and I have really enjoyed the last two seasons. "It has been a great learning curve for me and I have probably gained more experience than people think."