Evans: Manchester United must nullify Newcastle's aerial threat

Manchester United defender Jonny Evans is wary of the aerial threat that will be posed by Newcastle strikers Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse.

The Magpies visit Old Trafford on Boxing Day and, with the Senegalese pair having 15 Premier League goals to their name this season, the centre-back expects them to cause problems.

“They are both very powerful,” he told the club’s official website. “What Newcastle do very well is work the ball wide and put it in the box. They don’t give you a minute and those two are powerful lads.

“A lot of their goals come that way, when they beat people in the air and the ball is floating around in the box. The goal record between them is what got Newcastle to the position they finished in last year [fifth].”

The Red Devils lost 3-0 to Newcastle last season but set the record straight by a victory of the same scoreline in their favour back in October.

“In the last couple of seasons we’ve gone away to places like Newcastle and either lost or drawn,” Evans noted. “We knew how well Newcastle played in the previous season. They had Ba, Cisse, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye, who can really hurt you.

“But we went there with the right mindset and defended well. We had great shape and got two early goals. It was probably one of our best defensive performances of the season.”

With club captain Nemanja Vidic back to full fitness, the Northern Irishman is aware that he could potentially lose his own place in the team but is philosophical about the problem.

“It’s healthy for the manager and the squad to have Nemanja back,” he observed. “If you manage to keep the captain out of the team, so be it, but if the manager wants to play Nemanja Vidic you can’t really complain at that.

“You just have to be the best player you can be and if the manager picks you at the weekend you accept that. If he doesn’t, you accept that too.”

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