Jonny Evans could return

  • Last Updated: February 1 2013, 13:11 GMT

Jonny Evans could return to the Manchester United squad for Saturday's trip to Fulham.

Jonny Evans: Could face Fulham
Jonny Evans: Could face Fulham

Jonny Evans

6. Jonny Evans

Title Number
Appearances 26 (0)
Goals 1
Assists 1
Yellows 7
Reds 0
*Current Season

The centre-back has been sidelined with a hamstring injury but was due to return to training on Friday and could be in contention for the Craven Cottage encounter.

However, Ashley Young has still not recovered from his knee problem.

"Ashley is still not available but hopefully Jonny will train today, which will give us another option. That is good news," said Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ferguson intends to make changes and Rio Ferdinand has been lined up for a start, which means Phil Jones might get a rest.

Jones was at the head of a group of players with senior England caps who was selected for Under-21 duty when the respective squads were announced for next week's friendlies.

As part of Roy Hodgson's squad at Euro 2012, it could be seen as a bit of a climbdown for the former Blackburn man.

Indeed, there have been suggestions Ferguson is unhappy at the prospect.

If that is true, the Scot was giving little indication of it on Friday morning.

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"I have not really paid much attention to it," he said. "I am a bit surprised he was in the Under-21 squad and not the full one.

"I think the main difficulty with players dropping down is that once they get into the full squad it makes them feel they have achieved something.

"But Phil is only 20 and maybe the idea is to get as good an Under-21 squad as they can."

Ferguson believes his side's midweek struggles should serve as a timely reminder that complacency could prove costly in the Premier League title battle.

A day after Manchester City had dropped points at big-spending QPR, United were expected to stroll to victory against Southampton.

But even after overcoming the loss of an early goal to lead 2-1 at half-time, United encountered massive problems in the second half as Southampton took control and were highly unfortunate to gain no reward for their efforts.

As his side start a run of fixtures mainly against clubs in the lower half of the table, Ferguson believes such games merely highlight the difficulties his players will face unless they have the right attitude.

"The effort Southampton put in on Wednesday is a reminder to us that you get three points for every game, not just for beating teams at the top of the league," the Scot said ahead of Saturday's trip to Fulham.

"We've had great examples of that over the years. Last year we lost to Blackburn Rovers at home. You could quite easily say that cost us the league.

"I don't expect my players to be complacent, but Wednesday is obviously a great reminder."

If Saturday's FA Cup victory over Fulham is any guide, United should encounter few problems at Craven Cottage.

Martin Jol's men were swept aside last weekend with barely any resistance after falling behind to Ryan Giggs' early penalty.

However, the Cottagers are a different proposition on home soil and will approach their task with confidence following their own midweek victory over West Ham.

"Fulham's home record is very good and has been for a few years," Ferguson added. "They are one of the few clubs who get full houses every week.

"It's a healthily run club and you always get a good atmosphere, which is important. Hopefully we get the result we want because we are at the stage in the season where every game becomes important."

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