Jonny Evans: NI players amazed Michael O'Neill still NI boss

NI defender Jonny Evans with team manager Michael O'Neill
Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans is surprised Michael O'Neill has not moved on to a club job
World Cup qualifying: Czech Republic v Northern Ireland
Date: Sunday, 4 September Venue: Generali Arena, Prague Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Ulster FM & MW/DAB/online; live text commentary on BBC Sport website.

Defender Jonny Evans says Northern Ireland players are amazed that Michael O'Neill is still in charge of the side.

Having led the country to their first major finals in 30 years at Euro 2016, it was widely expected the manager would land a top-level club post.

"A few of us have said we are surprised a club has not come in for him," West Bromwich Albion player Evans revealed.

O'Neill's men start their 2018 World Cup qualifying with a tricky clash away to the Czech Republic on Sunday.

It is Northern Ireland's first match since their European exit at the hands of Wales in the last 16 of the summer championship.

Former Brechin City and Shamrock Rovers manager O'Neill's stock rose when Northern Ireland graced the high-profile knock-out stage in France.

However, he was overlooked for the various posts which popped up in England and Scotland.

Centre-back Evans, 28, is grateful O'Neill will be leading Northern Ireland in their pursuit to reach Russia in 2018 as he feared losing him following the 1-0 defeat by the Welsh in Paris.

"It has been strange no-one has come in for him," added Evans.

"He is in a great position and I think no matter what happens in this campaign he will always be in a strong position.

"We are all really fond of the manager, we would all like to see him being given that chance to go and prove himself at club level. I do not think we would hold it against him if he did move on and manage a club.

"We are grateful as players that we have him for this campaign because we know the hunger he has and it has a big impact on us."

O'Neill extended his contract with the Irish Football Association by four years in March.

However, it includes a condition that he can be prised away from the deal for a release fee of £750,000.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 4th September 2016

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belarus00000000
2Bulgaria00000000
3France00000000
4Luxembourg00000000
5Netherlands00000000
6Sweden00000000

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Andorra00000000
2Faroe Islands00000000
3Hungary00000000
4Latvia00000000
5Portugal00000000
6Switzerland00000000

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany11003033
2Azerbaijan11001013
3Czech Rep10100001
4Northern Ireland10100001
5San Marino100101-10
6Norway100103-30

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Austria00000000
2Georgia00000000
3Moldova00000000
4R. of Ireland00000000
5Serbia00000000
6Wales00000000

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Denmark11001013
2Kazakhstan10102201
3Poland10102201
4Montenegro10101101
5Romania10101101
6Armenia100101-10

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Scotland11005143
2England11001013
3Lithuania10102201
4Slovenia10102201
5Slovakia100101-10
6Malta100115-40

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Albania00000000
2Israel00000000
3Italy00000000
4Liechtenstein00000000
5Macedonia00000000
6Spain00000000

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium00000000
2Bos-Herze00000000
3Cyprus00000000
4Estonia00000000
5Gibraltar00000000
6Greece00000000

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia00000000
2Finland00000000
3Iceland00000000
4Kosovo00000000
5Turkey00000000
6Ukraine00000000
View full World Cup Qualifying - European tables

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