Jonny Evans

Evans: We Can Go Toe-To-Toe With Anybody

If successful in the Emirates FA Cup Final on Saturday, it will be something Leicester City's players will be able to savour forever, says Jonny Evans.
More on this story...

- Jonny Evans looks ahead to the Emirates FA Cup Final against Chelsea (5:15pm BST kick-off)
- The experienced Leicester City centre-back remembers watching previous showpieces as a child 
- Leicester can approach the clash with confidence because of the quality in their squad, he says
- Live coverage of the game is available throughout the afternoon, for free, on LCFC Radio

While the Foxes have never lifted the famous trophy, neither has Evans, despite his trophy-laden spell at Manchester United, but the Northern Irishman is excited by the opportunity which Saturday's showpiece encounter with Chelsea presents for the Football Club.

There are other players within Leicester's squad who have also never sampled an FA Cup Final but for Evans, a winner of the UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and League Cup with the Red Devils, it is an occasion everybody should treasure. 

"It’s great," the Northern Ireland defender told LCFC TV. "It’s a big achievement to get there, it’s a difficult path, and I’m just really glad that everybody’s going to get the experience together. It’s been a while since the Club’s been involved in a cup final, so everyone involved is excited.

"There are players like Kasper [Schmeichel], who’s been playing for many years, and he’s not been involved in a cup final, so it’ll be a great experience, and it doesn’t get much bigger than the FA Cup.

Man to man, all around, we feel like we’re in such a good place with the quality of players we’ve got at Leicester. We feel like we can go toe-to-toe with anyone and there are players who we have in our team that they’ll be terrified of.

Jonny Evans LCFC TV

"We’re expecting a really, really tough match. The last time we played Chelsea, I think it was one of the last games with Frank Lampard. It was a comfortable night for us in the end. I thought we played really well, but since the new coach has come in, he’s given them a new tactical dimension.

"They look a lot more solid at the back and are playing a little more counter-attacking football themselves. It's a formation we have played ourselves at certain points of the season, so it could be an interesting match-up on cup final day.

"When you get into a cup final, a lot of things can go out the window. A lot of it is about effort and we know from the semi-final how big the Wembley pitch is. It’s one of the longest pitches in England and you’ve got to play that, so you have to work very hard for anything you get."

As Evans references, Leicester defeated the Blues last time out in the Premier League, while City have also secured wins over all of the Premier League's 'big six' teams this term. Those results will inspire confidence for the squad, says the 33-year-old, who still remembers watching cup finals as a child.

"All those results give us confidence," he added. "Man to man, all around, we feel like we’re in such a good place with the quality of players we’ve got at Leicester. We feel like we can go toe-to-toe with anyone and there are players who we have in our team that they’ll be terrified of.

"We’ve got good attacking players and we’re quite strong defensively. It makes for a really interesting game. We know it’s not going to be like the league game earlier in the season.

"They're a really tough team to beat on their day.

First Team

Goals: Leicester City 2 Chelsea 0

Watch Wilfred Ndidi and James Maddison clinch three big points for the Foxes with two well-taken goals against Chelsea.

"It’s the one trophy everyone wants to have. It’s very historic and people, especially from my generation, they watched it all when we were younger. We didn’t have Sky TV when I was growing up, so it was one of the few football matches of the year I’d be able to watch.

"I can remember getting up at 9'o'clock in the morning to watch the whole build-up of the day, everything about it, and it’s an amazing trophy. It’s one you’d like to say you’ve won. I’ve had a few friends who have played in the final and they’ve always said what an amazing experience it is."

As one of the more experienced players in the squad, Evans is likely to be called upon by his younger team-mates for advice ahead of the final, but the former West Bromwich Albion centre-back says he'll be keeping it simple if they do so.

"I’ve played in finals, but if I play, it’ll be the first time I’ve played in a final as a 33-year-old!" he joked. "I’ve played in two League Cup finals at the start of my career and it’s a totally different outlook you have with your mental mindset. I suppose I can understand where they are at.

"When I was that age, I just went out and enjoyed it, I didn’t really realise the significance of winning a trophy. At the end of your career, you can look back on it and have something to show for it, so I’ll probably say: 'Go out to relax, play your game and let us senior players worry about the rest of it'."

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