Evans eyes defensive run
Jonny Evans is hoping he and Rio Ferdinand can avoid the defensive injury curse which has left the Reds’ backline decimated at times over the last year.
United have suffered crippling bad luck with defensive injuries in particular, the most recent being a setback to skipper Nemanja Vidic who had only returned to action at the start of the season after being out since last December.
Chris Smalling and Phil Jones still occupy places in the treatment room, although Sir Alex is hopeful Smalling will be back later this month after the upcoming international break.
Youngsters Scott Wootton and Michael Keane impressed on their debuts in the Capital One Cup win over Newcastle last week, but keeping Evans and Ferdinand fit remains one of Sir Alex’s main priorities. And Evans himself says having a stable central pairing can only be good for both the players and the team as a whole.
“I think every defender will tell you that when you have a settled partner beside you, you get a good understanding, and with a run of games your match fitness and concentration go up,” he told reporters at a press conference in Cluj.
“That’s something I can hopefully build on in the next few weeks.”
The pair are expected to start the Reds’ second Champions League group game of the 2012/13 campaign against Cluj at the CFR Stadium on Tuesday night, and Evans is not expecting an easy ride from the Romanian side who pulled off a surprise result in their opening game with a 2-0 win away at Braga.
“I don’t think you can go away from home in the Champions League and get lucky if you score two goals and keep a clean sheet,” added Evans. “They’ve obviously got a good side and that’s something we need to be wary of.”