Belfast Telegraph

Euro 2016 countdown: Michael O'Neill will be watching as his players go clubbing

By Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland won't have another international until March. From now until then, focus for Michael O'Neill's players will turn to their clubs...and the manager will be watching.

Following the international break, in which Northern Ireland took their unbeaten run to eight matches with a 1-0 friendly win over Latvia, Craig Cathcart will lead the country's Euro 2016 heroes back into action tomorrow.

It's a massive match for the Watford defender too, against his old club Manchester United at Vicarage Road in the early Saturday kick-off.

Cathcart has a key performer for the Hornets this season and would love to get one over the Red Devils, where he started his career.

He played in Northern Ireland's three-man defence in the win over Latvia and was comfortable in the new formation which gave him the opportunity to get forward. Cathcart even carved out the only goal of the night, supplying a brilliant pass for captain Steven Davis to score.

Alongside Cathcart in the backline were West Bromwich Albion duo Jonny Evans and Gareth McAuley.

The latter is suspended for tomorrow's clash with Arsenal at the Hawthorns, but Evans will play while Davis will line out for Southampton at home to Stoke.

In the Championship Oliver Norwood will look to continue his excellent form when Reading host Neil Lennon's struggling Bolton and Jamie Ward will be keen to deliver a big performance for Nottingham Forest at Brentford.

The match with most Northern Ireland interest will be the Scottish Premiership where Hamilton face Aberdeen.

Michael McGovern will be in goal for the Accies with Niall McGinn hoping to score against him for Aberdeen. Ryan McLaughlin would love to be involved for the Dons knowing he needs game time to have a chance of making O'Neill's 23-man Euro 2016 finals squad.

Belfast Telegraph