BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer expects Corry Evans to start delivering on his huge promise when he resumes training next week.
Evans was absent for the start of pre-season yesterday after being granted extra time off following his excursions with Northern Ireland.
But the 23-year-old midfielder, who started both of his country’s friendlies in Uruguay and Chile at the end of last season, will be back at Brockhall on Monday.
Evans’ debut campaign at Rovers was interrupted by a serious ankle injury sustained while he was on international duty.
But the former Hull City man proved before and after his five-month lay-off why his manager believes he can become central to his plans this season.
Bowyer said: “Corry is fine but we just wanted to give him a few more days as he was away with his country until the first week in June.
“We were more than happy for him to play in those games as he missed a big chunk of last season.
“It was a massive loss to us when he got injured.
“Credit to him, though, he came back from the injury and toward the end of the season he showed the quality he possesses – his performance at Charlton, for example, was huge.
“So it was good for him to keep ticking over and play against two very good teams in Uruguay and Chile and now we can’t wait to have him back.
“He’s had a good rest and now we’re hoping he can have a really good pre-season and show what a good player he can be.
“He isn’t the biggest of players but he has got a massive heart, he gives everything he’s got and he does a bit of everything.
“He does the tackling, he can pass and play it forward and he showed against Bolton with the quality of his goal that he has got a shot on him.”
Evans and fellow summer signing Ben Marshall missed most of pre-season last year while a number of players in the current Rovers squad joined after the campaign began.
Bowyer said: “The fact that a number of the lads are going to have a full pre-season with us is only going to make them stronger.
“We’ve got Ben Marshall and Corry Evans and we’ve got someone like Rudy Gestede who we had to manage carefully through the back end of the season when he had little aches and pains from not having a proper pre-season.”
Meanwhile, Rovers’ out-of-contract defender Markus Olsson has been linked with a move to Championship rivals Ipswich Town.
The 26-year-old is officially a free agent as Rovers have so far failed to agree fresh terms with him.
Ipswich are said to be on the lookout for a left back after boss Mick McCarthy, who is scouring the market for free transfers and loans, admitted there had been interest in star man Aaron Cresswell.