I thought silverware chance was gone after United admits Jonny Evans

Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans is hoping to add the inaugural Europa Conference League to the FA Cup he helped Leicester secure 12 months ago. Picture by PA
By Jonathan Veal, PA

LEICESTER defender Jonny Evans admits he thought his chances of winning silverware would be limited after leaving Manchester United, but he is eyeing a second prize in 12 months.

Evans, who won six trophies including three Premier League titles while at Old Trafford, is looking to add the inaugural Europa Conference League to the FA Cup he helped the Foxes secure 12 months ago.

He will be part of the Leicester side that head to Roma for tonight’s semi-final second leg with the tie finely balanced following last week’s 1-1 first-leg draw.

“It is a really tough thing to come by, silverware,” said the 34-year-old Northern Ireland international, who left United in 2015. “Some players never get the chance to win things.

“We have been very lucky and fortunate. I am so grateful that I have been able to win a few things in my career – that is something you can always look back on.

“You sort of think those opportunities are gone.

“Myself and Darren Fletcher, at the time, we used to drive down from Manchester to West Brom and talk about that.

“The chances of winning cup competitions are really difficult. We knew the difference in opportunities – you probably don’t realise it at the time when you are at such a big club.

“Whenever you leave a club like Manchester United, you realise your opportunities are going to be limited.

“I think the fact since Brendan (Rodgers) has come in, we have managed to get to a semi-final and obviously lost out to Aston Villa (in the 2020 Carabao Cup).

“So in cup competitions we have been able to challenge well.

“That has been the exciting thing that has been going on here these last couple of seasons.

“We are always pushing and striving in those cup competitions and trying to maintain a really good league position also.”

Evans has been blighted by injuries in recent times, including having to limp off in the FA Cup final last season, but he is back in time to try to help the Foxes over the line against Jose Mourinho’s side.

“I feel good. I feel like it’s taken me a couple of games to get going, obviously,” he added.

“My rehab schedule was accelerated towards the end to try to get games, so I was going into those games without really having trained a lot in the last three months.

“I was trying to get my fitness in the games, and then having to come off in one or two. I was using them as a fitness and training exercise, which is quite a strange thing to do in a Premier League match.

“We were looking forward to these games. I think the manager had the quarter-final against PSV (in mind) and, if we got through, the semi-final, that I’d be in a good position for that.

“I think it’s worked out well, going into those games. Especially last week against Roma, I felt really strong finishing that match.”

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