Belfast Telegraph

Josh Carson is setting his sights on win bonus

By Ralph Hewitt

Northern Ireland midfielder Josh Carson believes his team-mates can fight back after their defeat to Germany when they take on Belarus at the Oval tonight (8pm).

Steve Beaglehole's side are currently bottom of Group 7 as Belarus and Montenegro played out a scoreless draw at Stangmore Park on Thursday.

Liverpool's Ryan McLaughlin will be a welcome return to the squad after he missed the Germany fixture in Coleraine through suspension.

One of the few positives that can be taken from the heavy Germany defeat was Carson's stand outstanding performance in midfield.

The Ipswich Town midfielder created a host of opportunities for Northern Ireland and showed plenty of promise as he captained the side against talented opponents.

"I was very disappointed with the result," admitted Carson.

"We done alright in the first half and it was a bit quiet in the second half but some of the lads found it tough and hard going. I think the players got through it alright."

The defeat left many wondering where it all went wrong after such a commanding performance in the first half.

"As soon as we went 1-0 down the heads dropped but we just need to keep battling on and do what we did in the first half," added Carson. "I just think some of the lads need to get the heads down and keep working hard, me included."

Carson has his sights set on grabbing all three points in tonight's game and is hopeful the team will qualify for next summer's European Championships.

"We are going to have to start the way we started against Germany, hopefully with us taking the advantage," he added.

"Belarus isn't the greatest country, everyone knows that but we just need to go out and our mindset has to be the same as it was against Germany in the first half and hopefully we will get the result."

Montenegro and Germany meet at Mourneview Park (kick-off 3pm).

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