Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Point a massive positive: Brunt

How far have Northern Ireland come in recent years?

Chris Brunt trudged off the pitch in Stockholm on Wednesday night unable to hide his anguish at only getting a draw against group leaders Sweden.

This was little Northern Ireland.

The team that failed to get even a point out of last month's double header in Latvia and Iceland.

But when Northern Ireland need a result, they tend to provide on the biggest stage.

Only two wins will be good enough now for Nigel Worthington's side ? but even then, the Swedes or Spain will have to lose one of their games for the dream to roll on into the last game in Gran Caneria.

But first up, it's Denmark at Windsor Park and Brunt can't wait to build on Wednesday's gutsy display at the Rasunda Stadium.

"Most of the boys are disappointed we never got the win on Wednesday night," said Brunt.

"We were the better side again and totally dominated the game.

"Everybody worked their socks off for each other and I think it's a massive positive that we can come away from places like Sweden and we are disappointed with only a point.

"I don't know what happened in Latvia and Iceland; we let ourselves down massively.

"If we'd played the way we did on Wednesday we would be sitting now on the same points as Sweden, maybe even a point ahead. The dream is still alive though and all we can do is keep fighting.

"The next game is Denmark and we are capable of winning that and I hope we can.

"We'll take the Denmark challenge first and if we beat them, then we go to Spain and see what happens."

Brunt's partnership with George McCartney on the left side was a massive plus for Worthington's men in Sweden and he believes they have an understanding to lead Northern Ireland for years to come.

He added: "He (George) is always encouraging me. It's great to play with him.

"I don't mind going back when George gets forward and I think the two of us work well together.

"He is a Premier League player and has been for a number of years and I know I can learn a lot off him.

"We saw a few headlines during the week in the Swedish press and we took it out onto the pitch and did what we had to do.

"We were good value for our four points against Sweden but now it's all about Denmark."

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