Jonny Evans played through pain in Northern Ireland's defeat by Russia

Jonny Evans: Northern Ireland defender played through the pain in the World Cup qualifier against Russia

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Jonny Evans admits he was happy to be back on the pitch for Northern Ireland, despite playing through the pain in the World Cup qualifying defeat by Russia.

The Manchester United defender had an ankle operation in the summer and he has yet to appear for his club so far this season.

However, he was thrust straight in to the Northern Ireland side for Friday's 2-0 loss in Russia and played the full 90 minutes, although he required painkillers and a heavy strapping on his ankle to get through.

Evans is now a doubt for Tuesday's qualifier against Luxembourg and the centre-half concedes he expected to be feeling his injury in his first competitive match since the surgery.

"I've only played one reserve game this season after having the surgery in the summer so to be honest, it was just good to get back on the pitch," said Evans.

"But I felt my ankle after about five minutes. It was the same one I had surgery on in the summer but I got a heavier strap put on it and I was able to carry on for the second half.

"I was disappointed I felt pain so quickly in the game but if I'm being honest, I always expected I would feel a little pain - just not that early.

"After a couple of painkillers it did feel a bit better and if anything I felt stronger as the game went on, but like I say, I had a heavier strapping on then."

Banana skin

Evans is expecting a vastly different test when Luxembourg visit Windsor Park and he is hoping Northern Ireland will have more opportunity to attack.

He added: "The really pleasing thing (about the Russia match) is that we all stuck together and that is going to be crucial throughout the campaign.

"On Tuesday I would like to think we will have more of the ball and try to attack Luxembourg more.

"Of course that is always a potential banana skin for us but people will be expecting us to put on a show and get a win.

"We are happy with most of our play in Russia but we know it is a different task on Tuesday and hopefully we will get our campaign at Windsor Park off to the best start."