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Evans enjoys bond of brothers

Corry Evans expects brother Jonny to be cheering him on in front of a television screen when Northern Ireland take on Romania on Friday.

Michael O'Neill's side have defied expectations in the first three rounds of Euro 2016 qualifying by taking maximum points, all without Manchester United defender Jonny Evans.

The centre-half is arguably his country's most high profile player, but a combination of suspension and injuries has kept him out of victories over Hungary, the Faroe Islands and Greece, with a lingering ankle complaint also preventing him making the trip to Bucharest.

Younger sibling Corry, meanwhile, played an important role in Budapest and Athens and is expected to start again versus the second-placed Romanians.

And, just as before, he is sure Jonny will be kicking every ball with him.

"Jonny is obviously really frustrated he hasn't been able to play so far in this campaign. He is desperate to get back because playing for Northern Ireland means the world to him," said Corry.

"I know from talking to him he is so eager to meet up with the lads and be a part of it all and more importantly, help us on the pitch.

"He will be sitting at home again cheering us on and like the first three games, I know he will be the first person to text me after the game.

"It is very difficult for him at the minute because things are going so well and he wants to feel a part of it like the rest of us.

"But once he is fit, I know he will be a major boost to our hopes of creating history by qualifying for the European Championships for the first time."

After their stunning start to qualifying, Northern Ireland need only a point this week to remain top of Group F well into the new year.

For a side who finished fifth in their last World Cup group and dropped a seeding pot as a result, that would represent a huge achievement.

"Having the opportunity to remain at the top of the group until the next qualifier in March is a big deal for us," admitted the Blackburn midfielder.

"We want to remain unbeaten by the time we come home from Romania and a draw would be a good result.

"There's no doubting it is a massive game because Romania are second in the group and we are sitting at the top after three games.

"We are going into every game now believing we can get a result and so far we have done."

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