Corry Evans believes his brother Jonny will become one of Northern Ireland’s best players as he closes in on 100 caps.
The Leicester defender can reach the milestone in Tuesday’s Nations League game against Greece if they also face Kosovo at Windsor Park on Saturday.
If that moment comes, no one will be prouder inside the Georgios Kamaras Stadium than Jonny’s younger brother Corry, who has 69 caps so far.
“It would be great for him,” Corry said. “I think he’s been looking at that kind of number for a while now and I’m sure he would have liked to have hit it a lot sooner.
“He’s a great player for the country, and as a family as a whole, it’s also great that he’s recognized as one of the most capped players in the country.”
Jonny is already fourth on Northern Ireland’s all-time caps list, and a Champions League winner and three-time Premier League winner with Manchester United. And Corry thinks there are only a handful who compare to him in Northern Ireland’s history.
“If you look at his club career, his three Premier League medals with Manchester United and his appearance in the Champions League, he’s been incredible throughout his career on and off the ball with his reading of the game and his passes with both feet,” added Corry. .
“He was a real leader in the international team and from an early age we knew he was going to be a great player. Everyone could see his ability and reaching 100 caps – hopefully – would be a great testament of his dedication and professionalism in reaching this milestone.
Corry is back in Ian Baraclough’s squad after missing all four matches in June at the end of a grueling League season that saw Sunderland promoted to the Sky Bet Championship via the play-offs.
While it was frustrating to watch Northern Ireland’s struggles from afar, Evans believes the long-term benefits of June – when a number of young players emerged – will be felt over time, and has said the Baraclough team could turn the corner quickly.
“You go back to the days of Michael (O’Neill) and the first batch of games, we didn’t really win a lot of football games,” he said. “I think it took time to find our bearings.
“Once we got that first away win, in Hungary, I think it was, from then on the confidence and belief in the team only grew. and snowballed.
“We had this great run and managed to reach the Euros, which many of us probably never thought possible at this stage, at the start of this campaign.
“It’s only showing a few wins and your belief and confidence is only growing and who knows where it may take you.”