Sunderland manager Alex Neil has claimed that Corry Evans gets a ‘hard time’ among the fan base as the Black Cats prepare to face Oxford United away from home in League One on Saturday.
The Lowdown: Evans criticised
The Northern Ireland international has come under a lot of criticism from some fans at the Stadium of Light, both for some of his performances on the pitch as well as his off-field leadership.
Should Sunderland start Evans?
Renowned Black Cats podcaster Roker Report has previously claimed that the 31-year-old ‘isn’t a leader’ and is ‘anonymous’ as a captain, but Neil seemed determined to put things right in his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend.
The Latest: Neil leaps to Evans’ defence
Speaking to the media (via The Chronicle), Neil has now responded to the criticism that Evans has endured, claiming that the player gets a ‘hard time’ and has been ‘very good’ for Sunderland.
The 40-year-old thought that Evans was ‘excellent’ in the 1-0 win at home to Gillingham last week, which may suggest that the midfielder will keep his place in the team at Oxford.
The Verdict: Evans has stepped up
Evans has really stepped up in the last few weeks, emphasised by the fact that Sunderland have now gone seven matches unbeaten in the league.
The Northern Ireland international was impressive in parts of his game against Gillingham, achieving a 90% pass success rate, the joint-second best out of any player on the pitch. He also attempted three shots and played three accurate long balls from deep in midfield (SofaScore).
The 31-year-old will be aiming to impress his manager once more by hopefully helping his team to collect all three points at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
In other news, Sunderland have been dealt a big injury blow
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