Next Game

Faroe Isl v N Ireland

Friday, 04 September 2015, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group F

Windsor Park

Last Game

N Ireland 0 - 0 Romania

Saturday, 13 June 2015, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group F

Evans hopeful for NI future

Jonny Evans has set his sights on a place at Euro 2016 after taking encouragement from Northern Ireland's performances in World Cup qualifying.

Last Updated: 08/09/13 at 19:47 Post Comment

Jonny Evans: Confident that Northern Ireland are heading in the right direction

Jonny Evans: Confident that Northern Ireland are heading in the right direction

The side may have won just one of their seven matches in Group F, a shock success over Fabio Capello's Russia, but the mood around the team has been positive under Michael O'Neill and two strong showings against Portugal - a 1-1 draw in Porto and Friday night's unfortunate 4-2 defeat - offered further optimism.

Hopes of a place in Brazil next summer may have gone but Evans has raised the prospect of a real challenge for the European Championship in France, when the number of participating teams increases from 16 to 24.

"The extra teams are qualifying in the next campaign and that gives us a big incentive," said the Manchester United defender.

"We need to go back to this campaign, finish as strong as we can and put points on the board. That might have an effect on the seedings and the draw for the next qualifying campaign.

"We're in a good place as a squad. It feels like we have things worked out a bit and if we can continue in that fashion there is that wee bit of hope.

"There is a good spirit among the squad. You hear people saying 'we enjoy it' but we actually are enjoying it. It's a good atmosphere."

Having competed well against more illustrious opponents in their last two matches, Tuesday night represents a different type of challenge.

Although they are away from home, Northern Ireland will be expected to see Luxembourg off at the Stade Josy Barthel - the kind of task they have struggled with in recent years.

Indeed, the reverse fixture ended in a 1-1 draw thanks to a late Luxembourg equaliser.

"It won't be bigger in terms of publicity as Portugal - beating them at home would have people talking about great nights at Windsor Park - but these are the games we haven't done as well in, against teams at the same level as us or below," he said.

"The onus is on ourselves, you get a lot more time on the ball.

"There is that pressure if we don't produce or if we don't score early, but if we stick to what we did well against Portugal, no matter what the opponent, I think we'll be fine."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

I

f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
Adebayor & Berbatov: You Have To Admire The Balls

L

ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

paul7702
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

Footer 365

Andre Pirlo backs Liverpool's Mario Balotelli to prove his potential

Andrea Pirlo thinks Mario Balotelli can still be one of the "top forwards in Europe" despite his struggles at Liverpool.

West Brom reject approach from Aston Villa for Joleon Lescott

West Brom have rejected an approach from Aston Villa for central defender Joleon Lescott, according to reports.

Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla sign new deals with Arsenal

Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla have signed new contracts at Arsenal.

Mail Box

Neville Has It Wrong On Chelsea...

One Mailboxer says that the Neviller has it slightly wrong on Chelsea. Plus thoughts on sexy Saints, pre-season reviews, Connor Wickham and televised analysis...

De Gea Disrespectful? Remember RVP...

We got dozens of mails from people pointing and laughing at Brian D for suggesting David de Gea has acted disrespectfully; we printed some. And there's more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company