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Evans eyes Euro play-offs

The Rovers midfielder will now be available to play against Bosnia whe the game is rescheduled

12 April 2020

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Corry Evans admits he was looking forward to Northern Ireland’s Euro 2020 play-off match with Bosnia, despite being unavailable for selection.

The Rovers midfielder is still recovering from a serious facial injury sustained in the local derby with Preston North End at Ewood Park back in January.

Northern Ireland were due to travel to Zenica for the play-off semi-final on March 26th, prior to the game being suspended until the next scheduled international break due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

UEFA have since taken the decision to postpone all play-off rounds indefinitely.

Should Northern Ireland beat Bosnia when the tie does eventually take place, they will be at home to either Slovakia or the Republic of Ireland for the chance to qualify for next summer’s finals.

And despite being sidelined, Evans says he was looking forward to supporting his international team-mates.

“I was going out to Bosnia anyway to support the lads,” said the 29-year-old.

“I thought we would have done well in the game and with it going back to Windsor as well if we had won, I was looking forward to it all.

“If I had have been fit in time for the summer, which I probably would have been, it would have been a nice reason to get back and make the Euros, if we had made it.

“But it’s obviously postponed now and I’ll be back fit for that play-off game to try and help the lads if I can.”

Evans has mixed memories of playing against Bosnia, as he captained his country for the first time in Northern Ireland’s last game against them, which resulted in a 2-0 Nations League defeat back in October 2018.

Despite the defeat, Evans admits it was a proud moment and he is expecting another tough test next time around.

“It was my 50th cap and it was a great honour that night,” he added.

“It was a tough game, tough conditions. They’re a good team, they’ve got (Miralem) Pjanic and (Edin) Dzeko, two world-class players, and they punished us on the night out there.

“It’s a tough place to go, those Eastern European countries, everything around it plays a big factor and the conditions of where you stay, in the hotels, they’re not as great as back home, but these are all obstacles that you have to overcome when you go to these places in order to get results.”

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