Ched Evans wants goals but focuses on bigger picture at Fleetwood Town

Ched Evans is not worried by his goal tally and is thinking only about helping Fleetwood Town into the Championship.

By Tom Sandells
Friday, 20th December 2019, 6:00 am
Ched Evans battles for the ball against Gillingham's Max Ehmer
Ched Evans battles for the ball against Gillingham's Max Ehmer

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His strike partner Paddy Madden has scored 16 goals this campaign, 12 of those coming in League One.

But Evans is taking pleasure in his role in the side and said: “I’ll take it all day. I’ve said before that for me this season is about getting where we want to be, which is in the Championship.

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“If I can perform and help the team win, I’ll be pleased with that all day.

“As a striker I’d like to score goals as well but I’m enjoying it at the moment, I’m really enjoying it.

“And I’m hopefully pain- free going into the second half of the season.”

Evans has been nursing an ongoing back issue, which has responded to treatment.

The 30-year-old explained: “I had a steroid injection on Monday, which seems to have cleared it up. It was a bit of a nerve-blocker.

“I was getting a lot of neural pain but thankfully it seems to have worked.

“It was a constant pain and it was tightening up all my other muscles. I had the injection and it felt strange for about eight hours because they injected the nerve.

“But when I woke up on Tuesday I felt miles better. It’s not a guaranteed fix but it’s helped me out, so I’m happy.

“You don’t want to be going into a game constantly thinking about an injury.

“It was hard to get rid of and was making all the other muscles tight, but the injection has really taken the edge off it.

“Hopefully now I can progress properly and not worry about potentially getting injured.”

Tomorrow Evans and the Town squad visit a Rotherham United side who occupy the final play-off place but are only a point above ninth-placed Fleetwood from two games more.

Cod Army boss Joey Barton has questioned his side’s mentality away from home following three straight league defeats on the road but Evans said: “Personally, I enjoy playing away. It could be down to mindset; it’s a number of things.

“I feel we need to be harder to score against away from home and more ruthless.

“We need to be a bit more professional, like we are at home, seeing the game through.

“We’re not far away because we do it at home. It’s just about the psychology of taking that away from home and putting that same performance in.

“If we crack that, then it’s going to be an interesting end to the season.

“Getting the points on the board away from home would be a big boost and it’s about getting the monkey off our back when we do get that away win.

“It is going to be important – you can’t get promoted just winning at home.

“It’s about being a bit more horrible away from home. The football isn’t going to be as pretty, especially on some of the pitches you see – like Blackpool’s. It’s very hard to play football on them.

“Perhaps it’s about being good at the other side of the game and getting better at that.

“You just have to look at your next game and they are coming thick and fast now.

“It will be a really difficult month in terms of physicality, travelling, hotels and stuff like that.

“But if you look at the fixtures, I think we’ve been lucky over the Christmas period. After Saturday we go to Rochdale, which is an hour away and not too far, and then we have home games.”