|Venue: Windsor Park, Belfast Date: Monday, 20 November Kick-off: 19:45 GMT|
|Protection: Stay commentary on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio Ulster; stay textual content and report on BBC Sport web site; highlights on BBC One NI|
Michael O’Neill has stated it’s “crucial” Northern Eire finish a vastly disappointing Euro 2024 qualifying marketing campaign on a constructive word.
O’Neill’s aspect go into Monday evening’s ultimate match at residence to Group H winners Denmark at Windsor Park having misplaced seven of their 9 outings.
A really inexperienced aspect suffered a crushing 4-0 defeat away to Finland on Friday.
“Clearly we need to end on a excessive if we will,” O’Neill instructed BBC Sport.
“It’s a tough recreation towards a prime nation who’ve already secured their place in subsequent summer season’s finals.
“Now we have simply bought to bounce again from the frustration of Friday evening, when the second half ran away from us, and we have now simply bought to try to make amends for that.
“You all the time need to go away on a constructive when there’s a hole [until the next internationals in March].
“It’s crucial on us as a bunch of gamers and employees to try to end on a constructive. That’s definitely going to be the goal when it comes to consistency of efficiency and hopefully a great end result.”
Regardless of Northern Eire supporters having real hopes of qualification on the outset, this marketing campaign has been disastrous when it comes to outcomes, with the workforce’s solely factors coming in wins towards lowly San Marino.
A significant component within the poor outcomes has been an damage disaster that was unhealthy at first and has bought slowly worse because the marketing campaign progressed, with O’Neill saying he was with out 15 gamers for final week’s journey to Helsinki.
It has been a very difficult interval for O’Neill all through this run of three double-headers throughout the final three months, as he has needed to face questions from the media about on and off-pitch points.
Regardless of that, he did search to lighten the temper throughout Sunday’s press convention when he stated: “I am not traumatised or something, I will be alright!
“You appear much more down about it than me. It will be alright, lads. Christmas is across the nook.”
Requested by BBC Sport NI if the Northern Eire supervisor’s job was any harder now than it was when he first returned for a second spell in cost in December, O’Neill stated the position has all the time been a difficult one.
“It’s about getting a bunch of gamers collectively and constructing a robust bond amongst them to try to punch above your weight,” he defined.
“We had been in a position to do that previously. At this minute in time we have now been challenged as a result of a variety of these gamers are not with us, and rather a lot have been changed by a variety of youthful gamers.
“It is a good group of lads, they’re simply missing in a little bit of expertise. I believe that confirmed once more within the ultimate 20 minutes of the sport towards Finland however once more they’ll get a chance on Monday evening towards a prime workforce to indicate the followers what they’re about as younger gamers coming into the workforce.”
‘Now we have to include the opposition’
Wanting particularly at how he’ll method a recreation towards a workforce that beat Northern Eire 1-0 in Copenhagen in June and that secured their place as group winners by beating Slovenia on Friday, O’Neill stated sustaining a degree of efficiency for all the match will likely be important.
“We recognise the place we’re on the minute and the place they’re as a prime tier-one workforce. Now we have to ensure we include the opposition,” he stated.
“When we have now gone behind we have now been in video games proper up till the ultimate minute making an attempt to get again into it. The sport went away from us on Friday evening and we have now bought to try to make amends for that and ensure we have now a constant degree of efficiency all through the sport.”
O’Neill additionally believes the Windsor Park crowd can play an vital position in encouraging a younger squad filled with gamers who haven’t skilled successful fairly often at senior worldwide degree.
“Now we have had some nice nights right here [at Windsor Park] and the ambiance usually could be very, very constructive.
“That definitely helps all of the gamers nevertheless it notably helps the younger gamers entering into the world to know the group is completely behind them.
“The opposite aspect for these younger lads is that the majority of them are in single figures for caps. They haven’t received a variety of video games so that’s by no means simple from a enjoying standpoint. I believe the supporters can play a giant half.”
Denmark won’t take Northern Eire evenly – Schmeichel
In the meantime, Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has vowed his workforce won’t make the error of underestimating Northern Eire.
The group-topping Danes will likely be sturdy favourites to win the sport, sitting 56 locations above their depleted opposition on this planet rankings and having received their earlier 5 matches.
A lot of the Northern Eire gamers that Anderlecht goalkeeper Schmeichel remembers from his time in English soccer are lacking, however he won’t be taking O’Neill’s younger workforce evenly.
“First-hand information of them, I have not performed towards a lot of them for positive,” Schmeichel stated.
“I believe it could be a giant mistake to underestimate Northern Eire at residence, no matter how qualification has gone.
“In a one-off recreation I am positive they might like to beat us. From our standpoint our goal, our motivation is identical. We put together as we might towards every other workforce. We would not be disrespectful.”