Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland Ireland under-21s: Beaglehole wants polished finish

Northern Ireland Ireland under-21 manager Steve Beaglehole wants his side to finish their European Championship campaign in style tonight.

They face Germany in Ingolstadt, knowing victory would see them finish above the current champions in the group.

It has been a disappointing campaign for the hosts with the Czech Republic and Iceland taking the top two places.

Beaglehole hopes to increase Germany's misery after securing a point against them earlier in the campaign thanks to Oliver Norwood's stunning stoppage time equaliser.

A 4-0 defeat of San Marino on Friday — when Andrew Little scored twice — has also increased the confidence in the Northern Ireland camp ahead of the game.

"At the start of the campaign I would have settled for finishing above Germany,” said Beaglehole.

"In my mind it would have meant we would have qualified automatically, but it has not turned out to be the case.

"Germany will be fired up as they will be bitterly disappointed at failing to qualify as they were champions. It has been a very tough group and we have learned a lot from it."

Striker Billy McKay has joined the squad after scoring for Northampton in the 1-1 League Two draw against Aldershot on Saturday.

There will also be local interest in his fellow front man Liam Boyce, who is due to resume his career in Germany with Werder Bremen after the game following his surprise move from Cliftonville.

Meanwhile Paul Kee’s under-17 side are in action today in the first of two friendlies against Slovakia this week.

They are preparing for a European Championship qualifying series which will take place in Portugal next month.

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