Jonny Evans calls West Brom teammate and potential record-breaker a machine

West Brom

The Baggies defender says central defensive partner Gareth McAuley is a "machine" to still be performing at such a high level at the age of 36.

West Bromwich Albion defender Jonny Evans has told the club's official website that his veteran central defensive partner Gareth McAuley is a "machine" for maintaining such a high standard.

The Northern Ireland international turned 36 years old in December, but remains a crucial presence in the backline for both his club and his country, having made a total of 35 appearances at domestic and international level this season.

He could become the Baggies' oldest outfield player to appear in the Premier League if he features against Norwich City on Saturday, breaking the 13-year-old record of club legend Bob Taylor.

McAuley's compatriot Evans says that he shows no signs of winding down his career or dropping in quality, and says his professional attitude on and off the pitch has helped to prolong his career.

Evans told the club's website: "Gareth is a fantastic professional. I think you can see it every day on the training ground in the way he goes about his business. He is very professional, does everything possible to make sure he is performing to his best.

"I think he sets an example in that way. He is not taking it for granted. We see that from him every day. He is a machine really and a great athlete. If you didn’t know his age you would never guess how old he is."

"He is professional, he does his stretching and his diet is always very good. It almost seems like he is getting fitter and getting better."

McAuley has made 169 appearances in total for Albion in his five years at the club, and has over 450 competitive matches under his belt in a professional career which has also seen him play for Ipswich Town and Leicester City.

Together, he and Evans have been key to both Albion's push up into mid-table this season and Northern Ireland's qualification for a first major tournament in nearly 30 years.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch