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Jonny Evans 95 per cent sure Gareth McAuley will carry on playing for Northern Ireland

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published: | Last Updated:

Jonny Evans is confident his Albion and Northern Ireland team-mate Gareth McAuley will play on despite their World Cup heartbreak in Switzerland.

Gareth McAuley in action for Northern Ireland.

McAuley went on record as saying the future of boss Michael O’Neill could be instrumental in his own international future, yet his Baggies team-mate Evans is confident his 37-year-old central-defensive partner will play on.

“G’s not mentioned anything about retirement or anything like that,” Evans revealed.

“I still think he’s got a lot more to give and it would be a shame if he did retire. You can see the love he’s got for playing for this team and this country.

"I don't think it would be an easy decision to make and I'm 95 per cent certain he will stay."

And Evans admitted he could see why boss O’Neill would be in demand.

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“He’s such a good manager and it would be a shame to lose him,” said the 29-year-old. “If something came up, where it would be difficult to turn down, no-one would ever begrudge him that.

"He's so inspirational, he's very tactical. Even the other night, we had just got off the plane and were on the bus on the way to the hotel.

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"He had watched the first half (of the first leg) and he came down the bus and he was like, 'We're calling a meeting and we're going to watch it because you didn't play that bad, there are so many basic things you can improve on'.

"It gave everyone a lift straight away. He's got such composure and his team talks, he says the right things to get the lads going.

"You can see everyone plays for him and we all really, really respect him."

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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