Friday, 9 September 2011

United's Evans regrets Holden tackle

Jonny Evans still regrets the horror tackle which left Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden nursing a broken leg.

The Manchester United defender comes up against Holden for the first time on Saturday since his reckless lunge six months ago at Old Trafford.

Evans was shown a red card whilst Holden was rushed off for surgery and the insertion of 27 stitches in a leg wound.

It's a challenge Evans has regretted ever since.

The Irish star has kept an eye on Holden's brave recovery that included a lengthy stint back in his American homeland.

And he is delighted the US international came through a reserve clash with Rochdale this week to prove his fitness ahead of a return to action against the Reds.

He said: ``I regret the way I went in for the tackle. At the time it was a split second decision. I never think I'm going to hurt someone.

``At the time all I thought was that I couldn't let him get through on goal.

``I didn't expect him to go in the way he did but my red card was the right decision and I served my ban and got my fine.''

Evans was quick to apologise to Holden in the days after his operation - especially having watched the challenge again on television.

He added: ``I was a bit upset at the fact Stuart was injured and as soon as I found out how bad it was I gave him a call.

``It was nice of him to accept my apology and he was really nice to me when there would have been a lot of people who would have taken it really badly.

``I'm not one for seeing tackles like that in the game, if I'd seen myself do that in a game I'd be screaming for a red card on myself.

``At the time I didn't think I went in like that but afterwards when I saw it on TV I realised it was a bad tackle. I hope he is back to his best as soon as possible.''

Evans has been a regular in United's defence this season as cover for the injured Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

And he will start against a Bolton side in a game which will include a run out for Holden.

The Trotters star played in a reserve match against Fulham last weekend and with more minutes under his belt during the Rochdale second string match up, is part of Owen Coyle's plans for the Manchester United game.

And he reckons the Reds will find him a more difficult proposition than he was before the injury.

Holden said: ``My legs are stronger now and bigger than before and I think I’m even quicker than I was before.

``For all the knock-backs I’ve had I’ve seemed to come back stronger and better in some way and hopefully this is no different.''

The American has revealed he may hold back from diving into tackles in future though.

He added: ``I’ll never change the way I play.  I’ll always be a committed player, but sometimes you’ve got to look at some of the challenges that maybe you can’t win and maybe you don’t go into.''


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