Former Norwich City loan favourite Ched Evans hits form in time for return to Carrow Road
Norwich City will be wary of the ghost of Christmas past when they end 2010 against managerless Sheffield United this afternoon (3pm).
The Blades' visit to Carrow Road marks the first return of former Canaries loan striker Ched Evans –and the powerful Welshman is bang in form.
Evans cracked a Boxing Day brace in the 3-2 home defeat by Hull City to take his tally to six for the season, all but two of which have come in the last five games. And he will be itching to carry on that form on his 22nd birthday – with caretaker boss John Carver insisting he is finally getting his act together at Bramall Lane after a frustrating first season following his �3m move from Manchester City.
'Ched is now getting the rewards for all of the hard work that he's been putting in lately,' said Carver. 'I've seen that coming to be fair to the kid.'
Evans was a huge hit at Carrow Road after being brought in by Glenn Roeder, scoring 10 goals in 28 appearances between November 2007 and May 2008, although he was clearly out of the Canaries' price range.
An Evans strike earned the Blades a pre-Christmas win over Swansea – a personal performance that Carver described as his best for the club.
'The Swansea game was probably Ched's best performance for this club and I wasn't surprised because he has got bags of ability which we see regularly in training,' Carver said.
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'I have told him that I don't want a training ground footballer and I am confident he can build on that goal in the coming weeks. Both Gary Speed and I have said to him that there comes a time in life where you have to force the issue.
'After a promising start to his career, which included a loan spell at Norwich, it is fair to say he hasn't pulled any trees up here yet.
'On the plus side, he can strike the ball as hard as Alan Shearer, yet his goal against Swansea demonstrated more composure. Two or three weeks ago he would have blazed the ball over the top so hopefully the penny has dropped.'