Thursday, 9 October 2008

Evans help us! Defence boosted for Slovenia.

After the withdrawals of Sammy Clingan, Stephen Craigan, Chris Brunt and Michael Duff, Northern Ireland finally had some good news when Jonny Evans arrived with the squad in Slovenia late last night. The 20 year old Newtownabbey man has been suffering from a virus and had not initially joined his team-mates in Maribor.

Evans produced man of the match performances in two of the last three games and he is maturing into a lynchpin of Northern Ireland’s defence. With almost three days to shake of the remnants of the virus, it now looks likely that the Manchester United player will feature in Saturday’s World Cup qualifier. Nigel Worthington will be relieved, to put it mildly.

Although Worthington’s problems in defence have been alleviated with Evans arrival, the absence of Clingan, Brunt and, long term lay-off Damian Johnson, leaves the midfield rather threadbare. Grant McCann might find himself recalled on the left hand side and it is likely that Chris Baird will once again play in the holding role.

Jonny Evans is likely to sit out training today in order to give him the best chance to recover. His manager remarked,

“We will get as much fluid into him as possible.”

I’d imagine that many travelling supporters will be taking a similar approach.

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