Corry Evans highlights progress in tactics and team mentality

Corry Evans considers the weekend draw an example of Northern Ireland progress irrespective of the absence of any final reward.

Monday, 18th November 2019, 6:00 am
Corry Evans on his way to board the plane for Germany flanked by Niall McGinn (left) and Conor McLaughlin. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

A blank in Belfast left Northern Ireland looking to the March play-offs to keep alive Euro 2020 qualification hopes.

Steven Davis’ penalty miss proved key on Saturday but Evans opted to focus on the tactical development and shift in team mentality during Michael O’Neill’s era.

“We are all frustrated but as a team I think we have shown how far we have come,” said Evans. “We more than matched Germany and Holland in the three games we have played them and we will take that into Tuesday night’s game (in Germany).

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“Nine times out of 10 ‘Davo’ puts the penalty away, I thought he had a good game again and he is a massive player for us.

“The high press early on is what we wanted to do.

“It was similar to the Germany game at Windsor in the first half when we tried to get pressure higher up the pitch and nick the ball.

“When we win the ball higher up the pitch we are closer to the goal to try and score and that created a few chances for us.

“Michael’s been magnificent for us and has taken us from where we were eight years ago to what we are doing now.

“We are in contention all the time to qualify and he’s been a huge help in our international careers.

“He has helped make dreams come true by reaching major tournaments and, like against Holland, we are in games against big nations and compete. A lot of that is down to Michael.”