Evans enjoys senior NI role

BY foxsports • November 18, 2010

The 22-year-old is returning to United to fight for a place after spending the last few days guiding youngsters for his country. Evans was one of few experienced heads as a much-changed Northern Ireland side fought out a 1-1 friendly draw with Morocco at Windsor Park. In the absence of a raft of players, Evans found himself the third-most capped player in the team and even wore the captain's armband for the first time in the second half. That was a job at odds with his current position at Old Trafford, where he has found himself out of the side in the past two months. Evans said: "It was kind of strange. "There were a lot of new faces around the hotel but a few of them had been in the squad before and we always have good spirit with Northern Ireland. "We trained well. We only had two days and two sessions but the lads did well. "I thought they handled it pretty well and we played some good stuff. It was a good performance by us in the end. "I told them, 'Just go out and enjoy it, do things simple and work hard'. "That is a big thing we do here in Northern Ireland. We always try to work hard on the pitch and if we do we end up getting good results." Evans was the obvious choice to take over as captain once Aaron Hughes was withdrawn by manager Nigel Worthington at half-time. "That was nice," added Evans, who was winning his 24th cap. "Nigel said before that if I managed to stay on the pitch, barring injury, I'd be captain in the second half. That was very pleasing." Evans is now hoping for an opportunity to reclaim a place in the United side and can see a potential opening in next week's Champions League clash against Rangers. "It's been a bit frustrating really," said Evans, who has made just one Carling Cup appearance for United since September. "I was in at the start but then one or two performances weren't up to scratch. "I know if I don't play well the manager can't pick me so I have just got to wait for my chance again. If I get the chance I have to make sure I play well. "It would be nice to play at Ibrox and hopefully I'll get a chance. "We've got 10 points in the group so the manager might want to rest one or two. It'll be nice to travel up there." Worthington was forced to make wholesale changes for Wednesday night's game after being hit by 12 withdrawals since naming his initial squad. Only three players - Evans, Hughes and Ryan McGivern - survived from the side which laboured to a disappointing draw in the Faroe Islands last month and three new caps were handed out over the 90 minutes. Two of the new faces, Lee Hodson and Adam Barton, were both given a chance from the start while Bournemouth's Josh McQuoid came off the bench in the second half. McQuoid played a role in securing the draw, winning the 86th-minute penalty from which Rory Patterson tucked home the equaliser. Northern Ireland had trailed since the 55th minute when Arsenal's Marouane Chamakh charged down a clearance by substitute goalkeeper Alan Blayney to score. McQuoid, 20, said: "It was a tough game and they went 1-0 up but we were unlucky to concede the goal, that was a bit of a mistake. "But we pressed on, kept our heads up and went down the other end and got the goal. "There were a lot of inexperienced players playing but that shows the quality of the talent coming through. "I thought it was a good performance considering the team we had out and the lack of experience. "I think the result will give us a lot of confidence which will help on the pitch. "I enjoyed every minute I was out there, it was good to get on. It was a great experience and a great honour. "International football is the biggest achievement you can get. "The aim for me now is to keep on playing well for my club and hopefully I'll get another call-up."


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