Manchester United defender Jonny Evans admits his form last season wasn't up to scratch but is ready to make his mark on the first-team at Old Trafford.

Evans played a bit part in United's 19th league title victory, but endured some shaky performances when called upon, namely being sent off for a lunging tackle against Saturday's opponents Bolton Wanderers.

However, with Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand both sidelined, Evans has been thrust into the United first-team and has promised not to let his teammates down.

"Of the three seasons since I came back from Sunderland, the last one was my most difficult," he said.

"I didn't hit the form that I wanted to hit. I went away and thought maybe I have another year, if I had another season like that I am sure the manager wouldn't want me around. I wasn't playing consistently to a good enough standard for Manchester United.

"I have gone back to basics and worked hard. A lot of the time, especially here, it is hard when you are not first choice to keep that momentum up. It is hard to keep your match fitness when you are not playing every week."

United underwent a host of alterations in defence, with Wes Brown and John O'Shea leaving for Sunderland, while Phil Jones joined from Blackburn Rovers.

 

Despite the wholesale changes, Evans says that while the quality hasn't altered the competition for places has increased.

"With John and Wes leaving, it does make you think there is room there," he added. "But no matter who the manager gets rid of, or signs, there are so many players who can step into so many different positions it is crazy.

"There are lads coming through the youth team. There is so much competition. If you are not in his plans he will move you on. If you are here you have a great chance of being involved."

This weekend, Evans has the daunting prospect of taking on Bolton forward Kevin Davies, whose physical approach has earned him a fearful reputation in the Barclays Premier League, but the Northern Irishman will be no stranger to a tough test.

"When you go to places like Bolton and Stoke, they are the games that really test you. Going away from home to get a result will be tough with such a young side. I am sure the manager will tinker with it when the time is right," he said.

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Jonny Evans