Michael makes it all about young guns
MICHAEL O’NEILL insists he will not lose sleep if his evolving Northern Ireland side is relegated to the third tier of the Nations League.
Friday’s 1-0 defeat in Austria has left the Green and White Army bottom of their group heading into tomorrow’s clash with leaders Bosnia & Herzegovina in Sarajevo.
But although O’Neill (right) is keen to pick up Nations League points, his main focus is on developing his squad ahead of the Euro 2020 qualifiers in March.
Bedding in the likes of youngsters Bailey PeacockFarrell, 21, (right) and Jamal Lewis, 20, to his starting eleven for another crack at the Euro finals is more important than the here and now.
O’Neill said: “We are using this to prepare for next March. If we go through the Nations League and we are relegated, I’m not going to have sleepless nights. I have to try to develop the team and introduce new players. The only way to do that is to test them against this quality of opposition.
“We have young players and this is a tough level to play at.” Bosnia know a win tomorrow would almost guarantee top spot and promotion to the Nations League top tier for its next edition in 2020. O’Neill is without Will Grigg but hopes Liam Boyce can boost his striking options by recovering from a knee problem.
He said: “Bosnia are in a very strong position. They’ll know if they beat us it’s going to be very difficult for them not to win this group. “That’s a nice position for them to be in. It’s going to be tough and we’ve got to inject freshness.” This rechargeable long life LED spotlight will be all the torch you will ever need with its extra bright beam. The lightweight design is weatherproof, has a charging indicator, and includes a 12V car charger and AC/DC adapter. Size: 180 x 150mm.
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