Northern Ireland v Austria: Jonny Evans says side ‘must forget’ Bosnia celebrations

Northern Ireland v Austria: Jonny Evans says side ‘must forget’ Bosnia celebrations

Northern Ireland players celebrate their penalty shootout success in Bosnia
Venue: Windsor Park, Belfast Date: Sunday 11 October Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen live on BBC Radio Ulster & online; text commentary on BBC Sport website & app; Highlights on BBC One NI on Sunday at 22:30 BST

Defender Jonny Evans says Northern Ireland must park their celebrations after Thursday’s win over Bosnia-Herzegovina and fully focus on Sunday’s Nations League match against Austria.

“After the game there were celebrations on the pitch and in the dressing room,” said Leicester City centre-back Evans.

“But we have to forget about that. We have two games coming up.”

After Sunday home game against Austria (19:45 BST kick-off), Ian Baraclough’s side have a Nations League match in Norway on Wednesday (19:45) against a side that hammered them 5-1 at Windsor Park last month.

“We’ll just try and prepare, get our bodies ready. They are still a bit tired,” said Evans, 32, looking ahead to this week’s two fixtures.

“Some of the guys haven’t played an awful lot of football, so it’s about getting up to speed and hopefully we can put another good performance in.”

Evans says Thursday’s win in Sarajevo was the sort of moment that will stick with the players, and something he only appreciates more in the later stages of his career.

“When you’re younger you maybe don’t take it in the same way,” said the former Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion player.

“My debut was against Spain [in 2006] and that was a big night and a big win. I just thought that was the norm, beating teams like that.

“I had another couple of big results, but maybe in the last number of years you do cherish it. Sometimes you doubt if you’re going to get to experience moments like that again.”

After struggling in their inaugural Nations League campaign two seasons ago, Northern Ireland have earned only one point from the first two matches this time round – courtesy of an opening draw in Romania – and boss Baraclough has insisted he wants his team to “do well” in the competition to help their World Cup draw seeding.

Baraclough has said some changes to Thursday’s line-up are likely but they may not be wholesale as his side aim to stay in contention in their Nations League group.

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