FOOTBALL NEWS

16/10/2013 16:12, Report by Adam Marshall
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Nicholl backs Evans

Former United defender and Northern Ireland international Jimmy Nicholl expects fellow countryman Jonny Evans to battle to win a regular place in the starting line-up under David Moyes.

Evans was outstanding during Sir Alex Ferguson's final year in charge but has only figured in two games this season after starting the campaign with an injury. 

The new manager has explained why he opted for the experience of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand for his early matches so Evans will hope to impress in training and push for selection, beginning with Saturday's visit of Southampton.

The 25-year-old has played more matches for his country than the champions this season but was suspended for Tuesday's draw with Israel after receiving a red card against Azerbaijan last week. Hibernian's assistant manager Nicholl, who is the subject of an upcoming feature in official club magazine Inside United, was able to draw on his own experiences to offer advice to Evans. 

"You have these days in your career," explained Nicholl to ManUtd.com. "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.

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