Updated: Saturday, 18th August 2018 @ 8:23am

Mentally drained: Manchester United's Jonny Evans warns 12-point Premier League lead at risk from tiredness

Mentally drained: Manchester United's Jonny Evans warns 12-point Premier League lead at risk from tiredness

By Chris Bailey

Manchester United are mentally exhausted, Jonny Evans has revealed – after a rollercoaster week which saw the Red Devils crash out of the Champions League and hang-on in the  FA Cup.

Nani’s red card sparked uproar from United players and fans alike as referee Cuneyt Cakir saw fit to send the winger off against Real Madrid last week.

United would go on to lose and five days later did not look at their sharpest against Chelsea – escaping with a draw and a replay – which Evans puts down to mental fatigue.

“There were a lot of emotions during the week and we have to try to switch off from that and prepare for the next match,” Evans told manutd.com

“I think what caught us out a bit against Chelsea at the weekend was we got off to a good start but the mentally-drained side really showed in the last 45.

“I didn't play in the Real Madrid game so I wasn't feeling physical tiredness but, on Sunday, I did feel a bit tired and a bit drained in the second half.”

The squad will look to get back to winning ways as they welcome manager-less Reading to Old Trafford on Saturday.

And Evans admits the focus is on training the mind – rather than the body – as United try and protect their 12-point Premier League over Manchester City.

"When you're at Manchester United, a lot of the time it's about preparing yourself mentally for every game,” added the Northern Ireland international.

“You know you have to be at the top of your performance and you can't let standards slip.”

United will look to seal their FA Cup semi-final place at the second go on April 1, as they travel to Stamford Bridge for the right to face City at Wembley.

Image courtesy of The FA, via YouTube, with thanks

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.