IAN Evatt could do with a win at Middlesbrough – he needs cheering up a bit.
The popular Seasiders defender, who will return after suspension at the expense of the injured Neal Eardley, turns 30 tomorrow and can’t quite believe it.
“Am I down about it? Yeah, I am,” Evatt said. “I’m looking back and thinking, ‘Wow, where have my 20s gone?’”
“If you asked the missus, she’d tell you I think I’m Peter Pan – a 30-year-old bloke but 15 in the head! It has flown by. I’ve had a great six years here but they have just gone so fast.
“But I am still improving, I think. I still feel OK after games and training. I’ve never had any major injuries, so fingers crossed I’ll steer clear of them and keep going.
“You can’t lose what you’ve never had and I’ve never had any pace, so I should be OK!”
Evatt isn’t sure whether he’ll celebrate tomorrow night – it depends on the result at the Riverside – so to be on the safe side he arranged a night out last weekend, meeting up with old mates like Adrian Forbes, David Fox and Claus Jorgensen for a meal in Lytham.
It’s back to the serious stuff tomorrow, when Evatt – who last played in the win at Leeds – is aiming for another three points. He added: “The boys did really well against Millwall. We’ve put in two very good performances and hopefully we can keep it going.
“It is a cliché but taking one game at a time is how you build runs, so trying to get a third win on the bounce is all we are thinking about.
“Middlesbrough are four points ahead of us, so if we win we will be right on their tails. They are unbeaten at home but that’s got to end some time. We have good memories from when we last went there and won 3-0.”
As for his fifth booking of the season at Leeds, which ruled him out of the Millwall win, Evatt wants to clear something up.
“There are conspiracy theories about this,” he laughed. “It used to be a week until a suspension kicked in, so they thought I’d got booked on purpose to have my birthday free. That is obviously not true. If it was it backfired big time!
“The true story is that Barry Ferguson knows Leeds striker Ross McCormack, and he told me that if you give him a rap early doors he normally goes missing, so that’s what I did.
“Unfortunately I got a yellow card for it. But on the plus side he did go missing after that, so it worked!”