“I had the operation and I was hoping to be back for some of the pre-season games but I had a couple of setbacks with it. I feel good now, but I know I need to work that bit harder because I’m a bit behind everyone else.” – Jonny Evans
Jonny Evans is in line to make his return to the squad today after a successful rehabilitation following the ankle surgery he underwent this summer.
United have been shaky in his absence with Nemanja Vidic still lacking his sharpness and makeshift centre back Michael Carrick struggling to adapt but the return of Evans is well timed.
Despite admitting that it will be a few games before he gets back to his match fitness, a full 90 minutes in a hard fought U21s game on Wednesday against Tottenham Hotspur was the perfect start to his comeback.
Speaking to Manutd.com ahead of the fixture, Evans was keen to point out that United’s strength in depth will keep improving as key players return from injuries. He said:
“The squad is so strong; just looking at the numbers we have in training is unbelievable.
“It’s important to have that, though, because you get injuries through the season and we want to do well in every competition we play in, so we’re going to need everyone.
“There is plenty of strength in depth in the squad. We’ve had injuries, but everyone is coming back slowly but surely.”
With Champions League and League Cup fixtures beginning this month, United will no doubt have to call upon the whole squad to get through what will be a busy period that includes tough fixtures against Liverpool, Galatasaray and Tottenham Hotspur.
Complacency marred Manchester United last season in all competitions but with every team hungry for victories, Evans knows that United cannot afford to do the same again.
“I think you always get funny results at the start of the season. Teams are still finding their feet and that means you sometimes see some strange results.” – Jonny Evans
He said: “Southampton have lost both of their games but they’ll want to do well at home against us.
“I think everyone, especially the teams that come up, will be targeting their home games for points and they’ll want to get their season up and running this weekend. So we’ll be expecting a really tough game.
“Going away to Everton is tough at any point in the season, but we put that game behind us and had a good result against Fulham and we want to kick on against Southampton now.
“We’ve played a couple of FA Cup games there in the last three years and managed to win both so hopefully we can continue our form there.”