Evans drops a derby hint

David Cuffley Striker Ched Evans has vowed to fight for his place for the rest of the season - after handing Norwich City boss Glenn Roeder a derby day selection poser.

David Cuffley

Striker Ched Evans has vowed to fight for his place for the rest of the season - after handing Norwich City boss Glenn Roeder a derby day selection poser.

The 19-year-old struck his seventh goal for the club, his first for eight weeks, to wrap up victory in the final minute of Saturday's home win over Burnley, after Dion Dublin had opened the scoring within 61 seconds.

City's 2-0 success moved them a big step nearer to securing their Coca-Cola Championship place for next season as they prepare for next Sunday's East Anglian derby at Ipswich.

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For Evans, the goal maintained a notable record since he arrived on loan from Manchester City in November. Every time he has scored - his seven goals coming in six separate matches - the Canaries have won.

But he has started just two of the last eight games, and must wait to see if his lively 25-minute outing, as a substitute for leading scorer Jamie Cureton, will be enough to get his name on the teamsheet at Portman Road.

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“At the moment you don't know because Jamie is in good form and so is Dion, so you just have to fight for your place,” he said.

“It's always good to score. I've just got to get back in the team now. I think I just need to keep performing and score goals. That's what my job is.

“We couldn't have got off to a better start. Some people say you can score too early and you're defending a lead for the rest of the game, but we had the chances to finish it off. We should have done really and I'm just glad we did in the end.

“I think it's a thing we can all work on as a team, getting more people in the box, not just relying on certain players to score.”

Cureton, who scored a hat-trick in the previous home game against Colchester, missed two second-half opportunities before making way for the teenager.

Evans' goal, his first since his memorable double in the 2-1 win at Cardiff in February, was a typically powerful finish after he took Darren Huckerby's pass and created just enough space to fire home left-footed from a tight angle.

He said: “I tried to get half a yard and get my shot off and I'm glad it went in.”

Roeder, delighted with the goal, said: “Ched pulled sideways to have the ball slipped in and he twisted and turned and put himself in an impossible position to score. How he got it in from that angle I don't know. I don't care either.

“In my opinion he is a natural goalscorer. There are other things in his game we need to work hard with him at, in terms of coaching him to do things better, but his ability to score goals is a God-given talent. That is something you can't coach.

“It's been frustrating for him and it's been frustrating for us because if you were to see some of the goals that he scores in training during the week, thank God we put nets on goals otherwise it would take five minutes to go and get the ball back.”

Roeder said he was only too happy to have the kind of selection decision Evans had given him.

He said: “The only headaches I have are when players are injured and there's no pressure on the places and players know if they don't play well they're going to play. You can never have too many players to choose from. In an ideal world I'd have 30.”

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