Ched Evans has catapulted himself into the mix for a starring role against Middlesbrough, his Sheffield United team mate John Fleck insisted last night.
Evans announced his return to action for Chris Wilder’s side with a match-winning display during Wednesday’s Carabao Cup tie victory over Walsall.
And Fleck admitted the Wales international, who scored 48 goals in 86 starts during his first spell at Bramall Lane, could prove impossible to ignore when United visit the Riverside this evening.
“Ched’s done really well, he made a big impact and I’m sure he’ll be in the manager’s thoughts,” Fleck said. “He did what everybody wants to do when they set foot on the pitch and that’s make a real difference.”
Although Billy Sharp and Leon Clarke are expected to start against the Championship favourites, Evans now leads the queue of players looking to replace them in the starting eleven following his performance in midweek. United, last season’s League One title-winners, opened the new campaign with a win over Brentford but promotion favourites Middlesbrough were beaten by Wolves.
Evans, who rejoined United from Chesterfield three months ago, spent much of the summer recovering from a hip complaint and Fleck said: “You want people to do well, regardless of whether you play. I am sure that the boys on the bench against Brentford even understand and wanted us to win and play well. It is competition for places and we all want that.”
“When you are winning games, it is a confidence thing,” he added. “We did so well last season and if we’d come in and got a poor result against Brentford, who knows with us going away to Middlesbrough in the next game? Getting the early result means we can go there with confidence, have a good go at them, and see where it takes us really.”