Windsor Park

Next Game

N Ireland v Faroe Islands

Saturday, 11 October 2014, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group F

Last Game

Hungary 1 - 2 N Ireland

Sunday, 07 September 2014, 17:00

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

C

an we get one on the similarities between this year's Arsenal and 5 years ago. Or any other number you care to pick frankly...it shouldn't be hard.

mc1728
Liverpool: Five Similiarities Five Years On

R

icky van Wolfswinkel's remarkable record of one goal from one game at least deserves an honourable mention. And I'm willing to bet that at least one of Costa, Ulloa or Enner Valencia will earn a place on the list by the end of the season. Probably not Costa

stevenjameshyde
Top Ten PL Strikers Who Started Like A Train...

I

will also give up birthday Christmas and bacon for this to happen

badwolf
Ronaldo return ‘in place’

Footer 365

Premier League: Jose Mourinho confirms Eden Hazard's Chelsea contract talks ongoing

Jose Mourinho is confident Eden Hazard will commit his future to Chelsea, with talks ongoing over a contract extension.

Daley Blind backs Louis van Gaal's brutally honest approach at Manchester United

Daley Blind says Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal's brutally honest manner is good for team-building.

Premier League: Manchester United winger Angel di Maria delighted with Old Trafford bow

Manchester United winger Angel di Maria was delighted with his Old Trafford debut after the 4-0 win over QPR.

Mail Box

Who's More Miserable - Baggies Or Mags?

There's not a lot to choose between the misery of West Brom fans and the misery of Newcastle fans. We have mails on them, 'only QPR' and lots on Man United...

Forget it, Ronaldo Won't Come Back

A varied morning mailbox, with thoughts on Ronaldo, Daley Blind = Michael Carrick, Ed Woodward redemption, stick with Pardew, QPR's name change and marbles...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property