Belfast Telegraph

We'll give Northern Ireland fans plenty to shout about: Jonny Evans

By Steven Beacom

Jonny Evans has spoken about how proud the Northern Ireland players are of their supporters at Euro 2016.

On the day that Uefa threatened to throw Russia out of the tournament because of the bad behaviour of some of their fans, the West Bromwich Albion defender was full of praise for the Green and White Army, who roared Michael O'Neill's men on throughout Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Poland in Nice.

Speaking at yesterday's press conference Evans said: "We've got a lot of people behind us and we're really proud of our fans. The atmosphere they created for us in the build-up to the game was out of this world. I can't explain it.

"I've spoken to family members since who were down in Nice and they were in the fan zone. Polish and Northern Ireland people were all together singing and travelling on the bus to the game.

"Someone even said they were in a bar last night and a Polish guy came in singing Sweet Caroline (a favourite song with the Northern Ireland fans).

"We're proud of the way they've conducted themselves and are representing our country on this stage."

The bond between the players and the Northern Ireland fans is tighter than ever right now and Evans is determined to reward the support with something to cheer tomorrow night against Ukraine in Lyon.

"You look at some of the still images after the Poland game and see some of the fans with their heads in their hands. You don't want to see that. The fact they've travelled all this way and spent all this money, we want to give them something to cheer about. A goal would be nice as well," he stated.

"That's something we want to do. If we do go out of the tournament at the group stage, we want to do it by having a go, leaving nothing in the tank, giving everything we can to go through."

At the media briefing Evans and goalkeeper Michael McGovern both paid warm tributes to young Northern Ireland fan Darren Rodgers who died in Nice hours after the game.

The former Man United player said: "I spoke to my dad last night. He's still down in Nice and said that where the accident had taken place there were people laying flowers and crying. It's a really sad thing to happen and we all feel for Darren's family.

"We've always had a bond with our fans. There has never been any barriers between us and them. That's something we've also got to be proud of."

Belfast Telegraph