Evans: Ref was right to halt match

Jonny Evans admitted he headed for the dug-out when a ferocious hail storm caused referee Mark Clattenburg to call a halt to the League Cup tie at Stoke.

Jonny Evans

Old timers were not too impressed at the move. And it did seem rather odd when Clattenburg took both sets of players back to the dressing rooms for over nine minutes until conditions eased.

But Evans insisted there was no option - because no-one could see.

"It was crazy conditions," said the Manchester United defender.

"The wind was blowing hailstones into our eyes. They were the hardest hailstones I have ever felt.

"You couldn't keep your eyes open, which meant you couldn't see.

"You're torn about whether to stay on and give it the hard-man look or just get to the shelter of the dug out - I made a beeline for the dug-out."

Although United struggled after the resumption, conditions had eased considerably by the time they started the second half.

It allowed them to take control of the quarter-final, with Ashley Young and Patrice Evra scoring the goals that secured a two-legged semi-final against Sunderland.

After suffering back-to-back home defeats by Everton and Newcastle, it means United have now won three on the trot for only the second time since David Moyes succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer.

Additionally, they have not conceded a goal, which is good news for Evans given he has been in central defence on all three occasions.

Not that the Northern Ireland international feels he has cemented his place in Moyes' first-choice line-up.

"I haven't been given that feeling by the manager," said Evans.

"It's only four games in a row I've played now and there have been some injuries.

"It's been the same scenario over the past couple of seasons.

"You can't look too far ahead.

"You have just got to keep playing as well as you can. Hopefully everyone remains injury-free. Then you give the manager a selection dilemma."

A semi-final with Sunderland brings back plenty of memories for Evans, given he spent two loan spells at the Stadium of Light, becoming part of the squad assembled by Roy Keane that took the Wearsiders back into the top flight almost seven years ago.

"I loved my time at Sunderland," said Evans.

"In my first season there we won the Championship with Roy Keane as manager and the next season I went back and managed to stay in the Premier League, which was a good achievement.

"It gave me a good platform to return to United and fight for a first-team spot."

Evans knows the battling qualities inherent within the Sunderland squad and old boys John O'Shea, Wes Brown and Phil Bardsley will be ultra keen to deprive the tournament of a possible all-Manchester final.

"That is dangerous talk," said Evans, when asked about the potential for a first final showdown between United and City.

"I watched Sunderland beat Chelsea the other night and not only are they fighting for Gus Poyet, but he has also got them playing some good football.

"They controlled large parts of the game and had some good possession. It will be a more difficult game than people will imagine."



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