FOCUS ED Jonny Evans

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JONNY Evans has become a football obsessive to make sure he doesnot get left behind in the battle for a firstteam spot at Old Trafford.Since the severity of Rio Ferdinand’s muscular complaints firstbegan to surface in 2008, Evans has gradually edged further up the RedDevils hierarchy.

By last season, former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said he regarded Evans as a first-choice member of his side, with Ferdinand or Nemanja Vidic his partner depending upon the opponents.

“It becomes an obsession. I like to spend time with my wife. Yet single-mindedness and dedication are traits to be admired in an era when so many are prepared to settle for less than their best because the trappings of stardom arrived.

Yet, with Phil Jones also earmarked for a central defensive slot and Chris Smalling good enough to play for England in that position, Evans accepts he can take nothing for granted.

CAPTION(S): . As soon as I have finished training I try and relax. “My focus has been solely about football. But I have a routine which I have worked hard at and which works for me.”

The Northern Ireland international outlined the work that has to be done to remain in contention at Old Trafford.

“For me, the last couple of years has been about learning how to live right off the pitch,” he said. When I wake up in the morning it is the first thing I think about.

Evans recoils slightly when it is mentioned such focus is similar to that of former teammate Gary Neville. I get into training earlier and go to the gym.

“I take time and think about how I am going to improve.

“The way I look at it is if I didn’t do that stuff I might not still be at Manchester United,” he said.

“I understand there is a fine line. I get up two hours earlier than I used to. I don’t overkill it