O'Neill won't gamble on Evans
Boss will not risk defender if ankle continues to trouble him
Last Updated: September 9, 2012 8:38pm
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill insists he will not risk Jonny Evans against Luxembourg if the Manchester United defender is not fully fit.
O'Neill's men return to home soil in midweek after suffering a 2-0 reversal against Russia in their opening 2014 World Cup qualifier.
Evans played through the pain in Moscow, with the centre-half revealing afterwards that the ankle he underwent surgery on earlier in the summer was causing him trouble.
That problem could now keep him out of a date with Luxembourg.
O'Neill insists no-one at Old Trafford has contacted him regarding his team selection, but insists he will not gamble on anyone's fitness, regardless of how important they are to his plans.
He said: "We have no major concerns over Jonny but we just have to manage him between now and Tuesday.
"If there's any risk we wouldn't take that risk and neither would Jonny."
Meanwhile, Andy Little has expressed his delight at having remained part of the Northern Ireland set-up despite opting to take a step down into the Scottish Third Division with Rangers.
He and Dean Shiels took the decision to move to Ibrox over the summer, but both have retained their place in O'Neill's thoughts.
"Dean and I have been kept in the squad but I don't think of it as balancing Third Division football with international football, it's about balancing international football with Rangers," said Little.
"There are plenty of players in our squad who should be playing international football. You're training with very, very good players every day and our standards are high.
"I am delighted Michael has shown faith in us and we have to show him we're sharp enough and capable of playing international football."