FOOTBALL NEWS

13/06/2013 10:02, Report by Adam Marshall
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Evans' endorsement

Norman Whiteside believes it is only a matter of time before Jonny Evans becomes Northern Ireland captain on a full-time basis.

The 25-year-old has long been a mainstay in defence for his country, even if a number of his caps have been won in a full-back role, and is one of the most senior figures available to coach Michael O'Neill.

However, he has yet to take on the armband, with Southampton's Steven Davis currently enjoying that honour. Whiteside outlined his admiration for his fellow countryman in an exclusive interview to promote the Charity Challenge at Carrington on 22 June, when fans can compete in a seven-a-side tournament.

"Jonny has done brilliantly," Whiteside told ManUtd.com. "I think it's his third Premier League title and he's got stronger and stronger.

"Even going back to him getting sent to Royal Antwerp and Sunderland, that gives players a lot of confidence when they are playing regular football. It's what they are sent out for – to come back a better player – and so did Danny Welbeck. It shows you the loan system works.

"I'm sure he will be captain of Northern Ireland before too long," Whiteside asserted. "Because he'd be one of the best players, I would have thought he would be captain already. I've not yet seen him wear the armband though.

"Over the years, Manchester United have traditionally had players from Northern Ireland. Before me even, there were people like George Best and Sammy McIlroy and now there's Jonny. 

"There has always been a great association with Northern Irish players, and ones from all over Ireland in the Republic as well as the North."

Evans, who has also been tipped as a future captain of United, has his next international date on 14

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