Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill races against time for shot at Euro glory

Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill has revealed that he has just NINE days to get it right with his players for them to be ready for an assault on Euro 2016 qualification.

The first match in the Euro campaign is not scheduled until September next year, but O'Neill fears he will only have three friendly matches before the competition begins.

That amounts to the boss having limited time with his side as they prepare for a campaign that will make or break his reputation as an international boss following disappointment in the World Cup qualifiers.

The first of those friendlies is tonight in Turkey, with more to come in March and possibly May or June.

"Three games amounts to about nine days with the players. I think that puts into perspective the challenge we face ahead of the Euro campaign," said O'Neill, recently haned a new two-year deal.

"These games and the time we spend working with the squad are invaluable to us to develop a team."

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