DANNY Wilson, the Sheffield United manager, will have no qualms pitching Ched Evans into the heat of battle against Huddersfield Town after declaring the Wales international is now “fully focused” on football following a turbulent five months.
Evans, who had not played for United since April, marked his comeback by scoring the goal which saw the visitors claim their first ever point against Scunthorpe at Glanford Park and propelled them to the top of the League One table.
Tomorrow’s meeting with Lee Clarke’s side promises to provide another stern test.
But Evans, who has been charged with rape following an alleged incident in Rhyl earlier this year, pressed his claims for a more prominent role with a superb second-half cameo.
“Every footballer wants to be out there on the pitch,” said Wilson.
“And goals are always important.
“I don’t know what Ched has been like in the past here. All I’m concerned about is how he does for me and I thought he looked hungry out there.
“His mind is on his game and, in training, he’s shown me that he can make an important contribution.”
Evans, United’s highest earner, appeared destined to depart when the South Yorkshire club were relegated last season.
But with events in his private life wrecking any chance of a move, the £3m signing from Manchester City has been offered a chance to resurrect his Bramall Lane career.
“Ched’s been out for a while and he’s still nowhere near fit enough to complete a full game,” added Wilson.
“We’ve got to stay conscious of the fact that he’s hardly had any football for a considerable period of time.”
Wilson admitted he is monitoring a number of potential targets during the emergency loan window after watching Evans’ strike cancel out Chris Dagnall’s opener for 10-man Scunthorpe.
With Lecsinel Jean-Francois collecting his fifth caution of the campaign, United are now without one of their first-choice full-backs for what promises to be an explosive derby.
“We’re looking at a few people,” Wilson confirmed. “Whether we can do anything in time we’ll just have to wait and see.”