Ferdinand says patience is the key for Evans
Published 11/11/2008 | 12:17
Rio Ferdinand knows all about waiting in the wings, biding his time and then taking his chance.
And today the England defender urged Northern Ireland star Jonny Evans to be patient in his battle for a first-team berth at Manchester United.
With Evans all set to make his fourth start of the season tonight against QPR in the Carling Cup, Ferdinand has praised the 20-year-old describing him as a “great player”.
The pair have played together at the heart of the United defence.
And Ferdinand can see a lot of himself in the young Northern Ireland man, who is so keen to become a regular with the Old Trafford outfit.
From his own experience at a similar age when he was at West Ham, Ferdinand knows how desperate Evans is for first team football.
"Jonny needs to be patient," said Ferdinand.
"The problem is he will also want to play as many games as possible. I was the same when I was a kid. I was behind the likes of Slaven Bilic, Alvin Martin and Marc Rieper.
"But I didn't look at how good they were, I just wanted to play. I wanted the manager to at least give me a game here and there. Jonny will be thinking that too."
Ferdinand's advice is for Evans to watch and learn in training to make sure any snippets of information are added to his own game, ensuring the Belfast-born youngster plays to his potential when called upon.
There has been no problem on that score this season and Ferdinand has no doubts his fellow centre-half will make the grade at the Theatre of Dreams.
"Jonny has been called upon a few times already in big games this season and done brilliantly," said the England star.
"He is a great player. It is crazy to think he is so young. Roy Keane tried to buy him in the summer for Sunderland, which tells you a lot. He is good with both feet.
“He is playing regularly for Northern Ireland and will maybe become their captain in the near future. It explains why the manager made him realise he needs to stay here. He will have a major part to play at this club in the coming years."
Tonight he will aim to take United into the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup and one step closer to a Wembley decider.