Belfast Telegraph

Carson targets big revival to end Northern Ireland U21s' tale of woe

By STUART McKINLEY

Josh Carson has revealed the determination in the Northern Ireland squad to change the country's dismal record at under-21 international level.

And the York City winger wants the revival to start today against Belgium at Mourneview Park (3pm).

Northern Ireland teams have won a total of only three matches in the last two European Championship campaigns and even they came against the Faroe Islands and San Marino – twice.

Although Stephen Robinson's team face a Belgian team that is regarded as one of the best in Europe – and includes Monaco's Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, who is valued at £20m and striker Igor Vetokele who has Champions League experience with FC Copenhagen – Carson believes the turnaround can start now.

"We're a good team and we're confident that we can start getting results," said Carson.

"Stephen has mentioned the record and it's something that we all want to put right. If we keep performing the way that we have then we will do that.

"We have played well in the last couple of games and we all felt that we could have got something from the game in Belgium last month.

"Now we've got them at home we'll be going all out to win and if we play the way we can then we have a good chance."

Carson is among a group of four players in the squad who have senior experience, but while Carl Winchester is expected to join him in midfield Adam Thompson has been struggling with an injury and Johnny Gorman is lacking game time since his summer move to Leyton Orient.

e NORTHERN Ireland under-19s suffered a 2-0 defeat to hosts Belgium in their opening European Championship qualifying game.

They now face France tomorrow, with the French drawing 2-2 with Iceland yesterday.

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