Jonny Evans keen to end goal drought

 

Jonny Evans has abandoned the idea of practising a goal celebration for when he eventually breaks his Manchester United duck.

The Northern Ireland defender has now gone past a century of appearances for the Old Trafford outfit. And still the scoresheet remains blank.

.Evans' latest near-miss came at QPR yesterday when he nodded a first-half chance against the crossbar.

It is starting to get a little irritating now for the 23-year-old, who admits he can no longer think about what routine to perform when he does find the net.

"I did have one worked out a few years ago but I would be too embarrassed to celebrate now," he said.

"I would just walk away, probably more out of relief than anything else.

"I don't know when I will get one. Hopefully soon. I must have had three or four chances today. Nani put in some good deliveries from the corners and I was finding it easy to lose my marker.

"It was just unfortunate none of them went in."

Instead, Michael Carrick was the sole addition to Wayne Rooney's first-minute opener on the kind of day when it made Roy Keane's clinical analysis of United's youngsters appear questionable.

Keane has railed against the Red Devils' youth before. It probably cost the Irishman his job, once a furious row with former assistant Carlos Queiroz was taken into account.

Yet in the same way Keane correctly stated it was impossible for him to be interviewed, even by MUTV, and put a positive gloss on an horrendous 4-1 defeat at Middlesbrough, so Ferguson would be failing in his duty if he condemned his young players for no reason other than they are receiving over-the-top praise from other quarters.

After all, it was England boss Fabio Capello who likened Phil Jones to Franco Baresi and Fernando Hierro, United legend Paddy Crerand who made the remark about Duncan Edwards.

Those comparisons do Jones few favours.

A player of undeniable promise, the teenager is still prone to basic mistakes, even if Carrick follows his manager's lead in extenuating the positives.

"Phil is doing very well," said the midfielder.

"He could have had a goal or two himself with his late runs from deep, especially in the first-half when he was a real threat.

"He excels in both sides of the game. He is young and he is learning.

"He has played in a number of positions so far and never looked out of place in any of them. What a great signing he has proved to be."

With the return of Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov, United's striking worries have eased considerably ahead of the most congested phase of the season.

It means that even if Tom Cleverley and Anderson are prevented from returning over the festive programme, which after Wednesday's trip to Fulham sees United tackle relegation-threatened duo Wigan and Blackburn on home soil, Ferguson has the resources to deploy Rooney in a deeper role.

At the back, Rio Ferdinand has managed to string an impressive nine games out of 10 together which, given the season-long absence of Nemanja Vidic, could prove crucial as the title fight reaches its end.

"I have a good understanding with Rio," said Evans.

"Any defender will tell you they will be happy when they keep a clean sheet.

"It also makes things a lot easier when the team is working really hard around you, especially from the front."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future