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Northern Ireland can progress out of Euro 2016 group, says Belarus boss

Published 26/05/2016

Northern Ireland will feature in their first European Championships next month
Northern Ireland will feature in their first European Championships next month

Belarus boss Alyaksandr Khatskevich believes Northern Ireland have an excellent chance to progress out of their Euro 2016 group.

Khatskevich's side are the opponents for Michael O'Neill's squad on Friday night, but will not follow them to France next month having failed to progress from a qualification group that featured back-to-back European Championship winners Spain, Slovakia and Ukraine.

The latter are in Northern Ireland's group for the Euros, along with Poland and world champions Germany, and Khatskevich insists the three teams joining Die Mannschaft enter the tournament on equal footing.

"Germany is the favourite obviously but the other three teams are pretty equal," he said.

"Poland and Ukraine play a slightly different game but I would say those three teams have a shot at qualifying but it is going to depend on the condition of the players and how they prepare.

"As there is a possibility of three teams (qualifying from the group), all the teams have a shot."

Northern Ireland enter the game at Windsor Park boasting a record-breaking 10-match unbeaten run while Belarus have failed to concede in their past five games.

"The fact Northern Ireland haven't lost in 10 games speaks for itself," Khatskevich added.

"Every game is interesting in its own particular way. As far as our team is concerned we haven't conceded in five games so we have a shot at continuing this fine streak."

First Minister Arlene Foster and Junior Minister Alastair Ross dropped in on the Northern Ireland teams final training session for their match against Belarus at Windsor Park this afternoon. The First Minister posed for a team picture with Michael O'Neill's squad and passed on her best wishes for this summer's Euro 2016 tournament, before they head off to Austria for a week-long training camp next week. Photo By William Cherry / Press Eye.
First Minister Arlene Foster and Junior Minister Alastair Ross dropped in on the Northern Ireland teams final training session for their match against Belarus at Windsor Park this afternoon. The First Minister posed for a team picture with Michael O'Neill's squad and passed on her best wishes for this summer's Euro 2016 tournament, before they head off to Austria for a week-long training camp next week. Photo By William Cherry / Press Eye.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 26/05/2016 Northern Ireland Manager Michael O'Neill during this afternoons training session at the National Stadium. The team play Belarus tomorrow evening before they head to the Euros in France. PHOTO COLM LENAGHAN/PACEMAKER PRESS
PACEMAKER BELFAST 26/05/2016 Northern Ireland Manager Michael O'Neill during this afternoons training session at the National Stadium. The team play Belarus tomorrow evening before they head to the Euros in France. PHOTO COLM LENAGHAN/PACEMAKER PRESS
PACEMAKER BELFAST 26/05/2016 Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis and Jamie Ward during this afternoons training session at the National Stadium. The team play Belarus tomorrow evening before they head to the Euros in France. PHOTO COLM LENAGHAN/PACEMAKER PRESS
PACEMAKER BELFAST 26/05/2016 Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis during this afternoons training session at the National Stadium. The team play Belarus tomorrow evening before they head to the Euros in France. PHOTO COLM LENAGHAN/PACEMAKER PRESS
PACEMAKER BELFAST 26/05/2016 Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis during this afternoons training session at the National Stadium. The team play Belarus tomorrow evening before they head to the Euros in France. PHOTO COLM LENAGHAN/PACEMAKER PRESS
PACEMAKER BELFAST 26/05/2016 Northern Ireland's Corry Evans during this afternoons training session at the National Stadium. The team play Belarus tomorrow evening before they head to the Euros in France. PHOTO COLM LENAGHAN/PACEMAKER PRESS
PACEMAKER BELFAST 26/05/2016 Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty during this afternoons training session at the National Stadium. The team play Belarus tomorrow evening before they head to the Euros in France. PHOTO COLM LENAGHAN/PACEMAKER PRESS
PACEMAKER BELFAST 26/05/2016 Northern Ireland's Michael McGovern during this afternoons training session at the National Stadium. The team play Belarus tomorrow evening before they head to the Euros in France. PHOTO COLM LENAGHAN/PACEMAKER PRESS
PACEMAKER BELFAST 26/05/2016 Northern Ireland's Roy Carroll during this afternoons training session at the National Stadium. The team play Belarus tomorrow evening before they head to the Euros in France. PHOTO COLM LENAGHAN/PACEMAKER PRESS
PACEMAKER BELFAST 26/05/2016 Northern IrelandÕs Steve Davis during this afternoons training session at the National Stadium. The team play Belarus tomorrow evening before they head to the Euros in France. PHOTO COLM LENAGHAN/PACEMAKER PRESS
PACEMAKER BELFAST 26/05/2016 Northern IrelandÕs Stuart Dallas and Kyle Lafferty during this afternoons training session at the National Stadium. The team play Belarus tomorrow evening before they head to the Euros in France. PHOTO COLM LENAGHAN/PACEMAKER PRESS
PACEMAKER BELFAST 26/05/2016 Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty during this afternoons training session at the National Stadium. The team play Belarus tomorrow evening before they head to the Euros in France. PHOTO COLM LENAGHAN/PACEMAKER PRESS
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2016 - Photo By William Cherry / Press Eye. First Minister Arlene Foster dropped in on the Northern Ireland teams final training session for their match against Belarus at Windsor Park this afternoon. The First Minister posed for a team picture with Michael O'Neill's squad and passed on her best wishes for this summer's Euro 2016 tournament, before they head off to Austria for a week-long training camp next week. First Minister Arlene Foster is pictured with Irish Football Association President Jim Shaw and Chief Executive Patrick Nelson.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2016 - Photo By William Cherry / Press Eye. First Minister Arlene Foster dropped in on the Northern Ireland teams final training session for their match against Belarus at Windsor Park this afternoon. The First Minister posed for a team picture with Michael O'Neill's squad and passed on her best wishes for this summer's Euro 2016 tournament, before they head off to Austria for a week-long training camp next week. First Minister Arlene Foster is pictured with Irish Football Association President Jim Shaw and Chief Executive Patrick Nelson.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2016 - Photo By William Cherry / Press Eye. First Minister Arlene Foster dropped in on the Northern Ireland teamÕs final training session for their match against Belarus at Windsor Park this afternoon. The First Minister posed for a team picture with Michael O'Neill's squad and passed on her best wishes for this summer's Euro 2016 tournament, before they head off to Austria for a week-long training camp next week. First Minister Arlene Foster is pictured with Martin O'Neill Northern Ireland Manager
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2016 - Photo By William Cherry / Press Eye. First Minister Arlene Foster dropped in on the Northern Ireland teamÕs final training session for their match against Belarus at Windsor Park this afternoon. The First Minister posed for a team picture with Michael O'Neill's squad and passed on her best wishes for this summer's Euro 2016 tournament, before they head off to Austria for a week-long training camp next week. First Minister Arlene Foster is pictured with Steven Davis.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2016 Northern Ireland train at the National Stadium ahead of their Vauxhall International Challenge match against Belarus tomorrow night in Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2016 Northern Ireland train at the National Stadium ahead of their Vauxhall International Challenge match against Belarus tomorrow night in Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2016 Northern Ireland train at the National Stadium ahead of their Vauxhall International Challenge match against Belarus tomorrow night in Belfast. Manager Michael O'Neill and captain Steven Davis. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2016 Northern Ireland train at the National Stadium ahead of their Vauxhall International Challenge match against Belarus tomorrow night in Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

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