1. ITV Report

O'Neill says NI must make the most of home qualifiers

Michael O'Neill and Steven Davis spoke on Sunday. Credit: Pacemaker

Michael O’Neill says Northern Ireland must make the most of their home matches if they hope to qualify for Euro 2020.

The manager was speaking ahead of Monday night’s game against Germany.

"Possibly we're going to need six points from the four games and the best opportunity to get those six points is at home,” O’Neill said.

Northern Ireland have given themselves the best chance possible of pipping one of the two heavyweights in Group C - Germany and Holland - to a place at next year's finals by winning their first four games, home and away to Belarus and Estonia.

However, after Holland came from behind to beat Germany 4-2 on Friday, O’Neill admitted he would have rather seen the Germans win.

That would have meant they would take control of the group, leaving Northern Ireland to scrap with Holland for second place.

"It would have given us a free hit at Germany and a double-header against Holland," O’Neill said.

"But in many ways it has opened the group up. Essentially we have two double-headers against Germany and Holland and we have to garner as many points as we can.”

NI have not beaten Germany since a 1-0 win over the old West Germany in 1983, and have lost their last seven meetings - with three of those defeats under O’Neill.

The manager said the Germans will come to Windsor Park expecting to bounce back after that loss to Holland.

"It probably wasn't the game we expected in relation to how Germany played," he said.

"They're going to be disappointed with the result but what we do know is there'll be a reaction and we have to be ready for that reaction."