Belfast Telegraph

Evans: We'll raise game to stop the big hitters

Jonny ready for Muller and Lewandowski

By Steven Beacom

Jonny Evans has insisted Northern Ireland's defenders can raise their game to cope with the superstar threat of Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller at the Euro 2016 finals.

Poland star Lewandowski is one of the most dangerous strikers in the world while his Bayern Munich team-mate Muller, who plays for World champions Germany, is renowned for scoring in tournaments.

It will take a special effort for Northern Ireland, currently in a training camp in Austria ahead of Saturday's friendly in Slovakia, to stop that pair creating havoc during the group games in France, but West Brom ace Evans (right) believes it can be done.

Asked about taking on these big hitters later this month, former Manchester United star Evans said: "These are the big challenges you face as a player. Sometimes as a defender, playing against better players, you up your game and your concentration levels have to be raised.

"You try and get yourself into a mindset where you're totally focused on the game. Every one of us will have to do that if we want to be successful in this tournament."

Evans, who will hope to put his big game Champions League experience with United to good use in Northern Ireland's first major tournament for 30 years, added: "I have always dreamed about playing in a big tournament with Northern Ireland and can't wait for the Euro 2016 finals to begin.

"We will go there wanting to make an impact."


Belfast Telegraph