New Fleetwood Town signing Ched Evans does not expect to make his second debut against AFC Wimbledon tomorrow and says the return to form of Conor McAleny will benefit the whole club.
Evans, 30, rejoined the club for a substantial six-figure fee this week from Sheffield United, who loaned him to Town last season.
The striker says his pre-season was hampered after he was transfer-listed by the Premier League Blades and he is working to get up to speed with Joey Barton’s squad.
The Welshman said: “I feel really good. I’ve lost a bit of weight, which is always nice. My pre-season has been a bit scuppered in transition. It will take a bit of time to get myself up to speed with the lads. I know they have worked really hard and I am a bit behind them.
“I want to be getting to a place where the manager feels I would be fit enough to be thrown into a game.”
Town opened the season with a 3-1 win at Peterborough. McAleny got the nod for Town’s central striker role ahead of Paddy Madden, who was Evans’ partner up front last season as they shared 37 goals.
As to his own prospects of playing tomorrow, Evans said: “Saturday might be a bit soon. But the team is looking so strong, with so many good players, that I don’t think I will be needed on Saturday.
“But for me and the club I’d rather get to a place where I know I can perform to one hundred per cent. I might be a week or two behind.”
Evans saw the ability of McAleny last season and says the competition can only benefit the team.
He added: “When I signed last year everyone was talking about Conor and how much potential he had. I saw myself how much ability Conor has got, though Paddy and I did well so it was hard for him to get in.
“I’ve spoken to a few of the lads who say he has come back like a house on fire. Everyone knows he has unbelievable ability, which can benefit everyone.”
Ash Eastham and Ash Hunter were alongside Madden on the bench last weekend and Evans feels such strength in depth is a positive.
He said: “Last season we struggled with injuries and our bench was not as strong as it will be this season.
“I think the fact we have got strength in depth now puts the whole club in a better position.
“If there is an injury or somebody is not doing their job properly, they know someone will snap up their shirt straight away. It will keep everyone on their toes and working harder.