Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Jonny Evans will show his class, says Jimmy Nicholl

Class is permanent: Jonny Evans will shine says Jimmy Nicholl

Jimmy Nicholl has backed Jonny Evans to bounce back from his Northern Ireland horror show by re-establishing his place in the Manchester United side.

Evans has struggled to get regular game time at Old Trafford this season under new boss David Moyes and his international exploits hit a new low when he was sent off against Azerbaijan, ruling him out of the 1-1 draw in Israel this week.

Former Northern Ireland international and United defender Nicholl knows all about the pressures of performing on the big stage but he's willing the Newtownabbey man to start showing his class again.

Evans has only figured in two games this season after starting the campaign with an injury while Moyes has placed his faith in Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.

Ahead of United's visit to Steven Davis' Southampton on Saturday, Nicholl said: "You have these days in your career.

"Tommy Docherty wanted me in the team and I got in, albeit at right-back. I had four happy years and then Dave Sexton came in and I had to prove myself all over again to him. Ron Atkinson replaced him and things changed again. If you're going to be at a club for a long time, you're going to have different managers with different thoughts.

"You have to fight to get back in the team. Jonny has got to go through it all over again and that's just exactly what he needs to do. He was excellent last season and is a good player for Northern Ireland as well – he's sadly missed whenever he doesn't play.

"I've met the fella and met the family and he'll just knuckle down and get on with it. Jonny will be hoping he can get in and stay in because you've really got to be at the top of your game all the time at that level.

"When there's a change of manager, you can't rest on your laurels. You've got to keep your hopes up and your confidence as high as you can and keep training hard."

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