Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Competition at Left-Back Brings out the Best in Horwood; Evan Horwood Would like Nothing More Than to Play in the Town He Was Born, Bred and Still Lives in Tonight, but His Place in Carlisle's Back Four Is Far from Certain. No Bad Thing, Writes Stuart Rayner

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Competition at Left-Back Brings out the Best in Horwood; Evan Horwood Would like Nothing More Than to Play in the Town He Was Born, Bred and Still Lives in Tonight, but His Place in Carlisle's Back Four Is Far from Certain. No Bad Thing, Writes Stuart Rayner

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

IT is the day before Hartlepool United entertain Carlisle United and Evan Horwood has a fight on his hands.

The Cumbrians' left-back has returned home to Seaton Carew hoping his efforts in training have won him a place in the side to face the club he supported and played for as a boy, and one day hopes to play for as a man. Playing against Hartlepool has proven difficult.

The latest threat comes from Peter Murphy. Horwood (pictured right) injured his foot against Leeds United a fortnight ago, and has not got back in the side since. He hopes to return for tonight's League One match at Victoria Park. Fortunately, competition brings the best out of the 23-year-old.

"In the last couple of seasons I've just missed out," he reflects. "I missed the game when I was on loan at Darlo with a hairline fracture and last season's game because I'd lost my place in the team."

The previous campaign was a difficult one for Horwood but bouncing back to become a fixture in the side spoke volumes.

"Last season I didn't do myself any favours with my performances - not on purpose of course," he says. "The team started the season badly, something had to change and I got sacrificed. I fought my way back in and then the manager (Greg Abbott) bought Ian Harte.

Hopefully now he's realised I'm the man to play left-back.

"I don't have any problems with the manager, I wasn't doing it when he first got the job. He signed Lidds (Sunderland's Michael Liddle) on loan and I got my confidence back but he obviously didn't think I was quite ready because he signed Ian Harte.

"Ian Harte started at left-back, but moved to the centre, I got back in and played 26 games on the bounce until my injury."

Is a pattern emerging of a man who thrives on a threat to his place? "I didn't think I was that sort of player, but maybe," he says. …

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