Ched Evans does not expect to walk into Fleetwood Town’s starting line-up for tomorrow’s game at Lincoln City after admitting he is yet to hit full fitness.
Evans came off the bench to score Town’s second goal in the 2-0 win over Accrington Stanley on Saturday; his first goal since rejoining the club permanently earlier this month.
With Conor McAleny (ankle) out for another three weeks, Evans and Paddy Madden are battling it out for a starting spot in the middle should Town continue with their current 4-3-3 formation.
Evans came off the bench to replace Madden, who opened the scoring at Highbury, but he says he will have to work his way into the team.
He said: “You cannot take away the goals Paddy has scored and the performances the other lads have put in, so I don’t expect to be playing.
“I am not 100 per cent fit yet but I am excited for when I will be.
“I have a full week now before the next game which is unusual in this league.
“We will have a good week of training which will put me another week ahead. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Evans had missed out on pre-season at Sheffield United, having been transfer-listed following their promotion to the Premier League.
Having worked on his fitness, he played 60 minutes for Town’s development squad against Rangers and another half-hour against Accrington.
The 30-year-old now feels he is back on track as he aims for a repeat of last season’s 18-goal tally.
He said: “The transition in moving clubs is a long one generally.
“I needed to get my fitness up, which we have done over the past three weeks.
“I’m pleased with how my progression has come into the first team and to cap it off with a goal was really nice.
“Coming into a club and signing unfit is probably not the best foot to start on but I’ve had a reserve game the other week which I got 60 minutes in.
“The next progression was 30 minutes in the first team and then, after that, the next progression is a start.
“But as and when that comes will be down to the manager and whether he thinks I’m ready.”
Evans’ return gives head coach Joey Barton another option up front despite Madden hoping to make it five goals in as many league games at Lincoln.
The two netted 37 goals between them last season, Madden just edging out Evans by scoring 19.
Evans said: “Paddy will always score goals.
“As long as he is in the box and we produce crosses and stuff like we do, I think it will be a fruitful season for me and Paddy.
“It is nice for a manager to have that headache of what striker gets to play.
“Paddy has four goals, Conor has scored and I have scored, so I think with the three strikers there, we have goals in the team and we will create chances. I’m looking forward to it.”