Corry Evans believes international football with Northern Ireland will prove beneficial in maintaining his early season form with Rovers.

Evans credited a summer away with his national team as key to him starting the first 11 league matches of the campaign.

The midfielder dropped to the bench for the win at Bolton before being brought on for the final half hour, the first time since March he had failed to start a league game.

The 28-year-old, who has struggled with niggling injuries throughout his time at Ewood, was afforded an extra week off by Tony Mowbray in pre-season.

And Evans, who could win his 49th cap in tonight’s Nations League game in Austria, believes his international career is benefitting his club form.

“I’m happy to keep ticking over,” Evans said of his international commitments.

“Talking from experience it’s when I take a break and have some downtime that I don’t really like, I like to keep going and playing games and keep my fitness up.

“I will be looking to do that again during the internationals.

“It was key for me to keep myself ticking over. That helped me at the start of pre-season and coming back and joining up with the lads, although I came back a week later, I was right up to speed.

“I think that’s definitely helped me.”

Rovers returned from the last international break with five points from a possible nine against high profile clubs in Aston Villa, Derby County and Stoke City in the space of a week.

Their fixture list upon their return from the this month’s international matches looks equally daunting, facing a home match with Leeds United before trips to Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion, again within seven days.

Evans has played much of his career in the Championship and has seen the impact first-hand of how well teams promoted from League One can fare.

He added: “We have played against a lot of the big sides and there has been nothing to fear.

“We have a good group, a bunch of talented players and a good manager and I’ve seen first hand from teams coming up from League One, Southampton and Norwich, doing back-to-back promotions.

“It would be great to finish as high as we can.

“You have to be realistic, the teams coming down it can be a transitional period, we had it ourselves in League One.

“West Brom have hit the ground running, Stoke and Swansea will be up and around it by the end of the season.”

Evans believes Rovers can head in to their upcoming matches with confidence after just two defeats from their opening 12 matches.

And despite sitting handily in 10th place going in to the break, he feels they could be higher.

“We’re disappointed not to have more points looking at the Villa and Forest games, two that we will look back in hindsight and say we could have got three points.

“It’s been a good start and we’re relishing every game as it comes.”