Jonny Evans never ‘daunted’ by Real Madrid: Fearing Galacticos not an option for Manchester United

By Dean Wilkins

With a nickname alluding to ‘team of superstars’, Manchester United may be forgiven for feeling inferior when preparing to tackle Real Madrid at the Bernabeu tomorrow.

But Jonny Evans vowed that fearing the Galacticos is not an option for the Premier League leaders as they get their teeth into the Champions League knockout stages.

The round’s juiciest draw sees the planet’s two biggest clubs go head-to-head for a place in the quarter-finals, but it may be the difference in Spain and England’s league quality that will favour United.

“We can’t be daunted,” said the centreback. “We are Manchester United. Teams look up to us as well.

“I am sure the same pressures will be on them. They have good players who can hurt you but we play against Premier League opposition every week and that is one of the best leagues in the world.

“It is just as if we were playing against Manchester City or Liverpool. They are top players and we have to be spot on.”

United’s record of five Champions League finals in five years far out-weighs Madrid’s – who last lifted the trophy during peak of their Galacticos era in 2002.

As the business end of the season creeps up on United, their fixture list is packed with league, FA Cup and Champions League ties – with an Old Trafford Manchester derby also on the horizon.

After travelling to Madrid, United host Reading in the FA Cup’s only all Premier League fifth-round clash on Monday as the upcoming fixtures cause more than a headache for Sir Alex Ferguson.

But Evans is not batting an eyelid at the upcoming hectic months having become a hard-nosed first-team regular.

“In my first season after coming back from loan at Sunderland we won the Carling Cup, the league and got to the Champions League final,” he added.

“At the time I never thought there were so many games because you generate momentum.

“This season we came through Christmas brilliantly, which is down to the manager being able to rotate the squad and having the confidence in all the players so they don’t feel as though they are fatiguing.”

Picture courtesy of Addesolen, with thanks.

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