Ched Evans happy to assist after playing key role in Preston North End's fight back against Sheffield United

Ched Evans’ game is more about getting on the end of crosses rather than supplying them.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 6:10 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th January 2022, 6:12 pm

The boot was on the other foot so to speak in midweek and how Preston North End were to benefit from it.

Against his former club Sheffield United, Evans put in the most accurate of crosses for Emil Riis to score PNE’s late equaliser at Deepdale.

It was a ball any winger would have been proud of, delivering but the Welsh striker wanted to see the credit spread among others involved in it.

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Ched Evans replaces Tom Barkhuizen in Preston North End's clash with Sheffield United at Deepdale

“As a striker you know where you want the ball so you bear that in mind when you put a cross in,” said Evans.

“I looked up and could see Emil pulling off to the back post. The low ball across the box was the option and Emil had the easy bit of putting it in!

“The goal wasn’t just about Emil and myself. It started with Patrick Bauer stepping in, being aggressive and winning the ball.

“Then Alan Browne stepped in, broke through the lines and I think pushed DJ away so he could make his run.

Emil Riis supplies the finishing touch to Ched Evans' cross in PNE's 2-2 draw with Sheffield United

“Browney slipped the ball out to me and then we saw Emil’s movement to go to the far post.

“When you’ve got your centre-half, centre midfielder and striker involved in a move, then some top-notch movement from Emil, you’ve got a quality all-round goal.

“Emil is a natural goalscorer so he loved finding himself in that position.

“It was a great way to finish the game and to be honest we could even have gone on and won it.

“When you’ve been 2-0 down with 10 men, you’ve got to be happy with a draw. I thought Sheffield United under-estimated us a bit in the second half.

“As soon as we got a bit of momentum, built a bit of pressure and started getting shots off, it created belief in the team.”

Evans has nothing but good words to say about Ryan Lowe’s management as North End prepare for their next assignment at Swansea City on Saturday.

With Lowe having been a striker himself, his style has an attacking flavour which is good news to 33-year-old Evans.

Said Evans: “Training sessions are designed to get the strikers and midfielders in, we want to produce more crosses which is nice for a player like myself.

“As a striker you thrive off quality crosses into the box and anything we do which helps that is great.

“It’s when chances and crosses start to dry up that you get frustrated as a striker.

“What the gaffer has brought to the sessions which him, Mike Marsh and Paul Gallagher put on, is really impressive.

“He wants us to play positive attack-minded football.

“You could see the other night when we scored our two goals how high up we had the central midfielders.

“When crosses were put in we had lots of players in the box rather than them sitting off and being defensive.”

It’s a second trip to South Wales for PNE in a fortnight this weekend.

They played Cardiff in the FA Cup two Sundays ago, this time they head 40 miles further east along the M4 to Swansea.

In the nick of time the Welsh Government have lifted restrictions on crowds attending sporting events.

So unlike the soulless experience of behind-closed-doors football at Cardiff, there should be a decent atmosphere inside the Liberty Stadium as PNE look to stay unbeaten in the league under Lowe.

Evans said: “It will be a tough game at Swansea, every Championship game is a challenge.

“Swansea have some good footballers but our focus in on ourselves and we have to reproduce the ability and passion we showed on Tuesday night.

“We want to get the job done and get three points.

“It’s a busy spell for us at the moment, we are playing every Saturday and midweek.

“That puts a high demand on players and the full squad will be needed over the next few weeks.”

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