Evans ready to prove he's worth new deal
Published 21/12/2012 | 16:49
Manchester United defender Jonny Evans is not kidding himself that he can relax now he has pocketed a four-year contract.
The 24-year-old's new deal will keep him at Old Trafford until 2016, with his manager Sir Alex Ferguson predicting Evans will be around a lot longer than that. But the Northern Ireland star has no intention of taking it easy.
For he knows if his performances are not up to scratch for the remainder of the campaign, Ferguson would have no hesitation in sending him towards the exit door. "It is nice to get a new contract and it does give you extra security," he said.
"But I don't think it means an awful lot these days. The club could still decide to sell me in the summer if they want."
That does seem a highly improbably scenario. After all, Ferguson was convinced enough of Evans' talents to let Gerard Pique leave for Barcelona in 2008. And two years later when, by his own admission, the Belfast-born player's performances dipped, Ferguson kept faith, which has now been rewarded with 141 appearances.
"I love Manchester United," he said. "It is 10 years since I moved across the water to join. Even when other clubs asked me to go on trial I didn't because I knew Manchester United was the place I wanted to play football.
"I have come through the academy here and would love to play here throughout the rest of my career."
The more experience Evans has picked up, the more at home he feels in the United dressing room. Early in that 2008-09 campaign, Evans said he would be delighted if he reached 20 appearances.
Now those nerves have gone. Instead has come more confidence and authority.
"I am improving with every game and season that goes by," he said. "I really feel I am part of it now. I don't feel like I am the youngster who is coming to fill in the gaps any more or get the odd game here and there. I want to be competing for a place every week."