Belfast Telegraph

Euro 2016 countdown: Stuart Dallas is just happy to do whatever it takes for Northern Ireland team

By Steven Beacom

Stuart Dallas has been a revelation for Northern Ireland this year.

For the most part he has played in an attacking role, but with manager Michael O'Neill trying out a new system last week the Leeds United star showed another string to his bow at left wing-back.

Come the Euro 2016 finals, O'Neill will want to have tactical options so while he may stick with the 4-3-3 line-up that was so successful in qualifying for some of the opening group games, it is a sure bet that for at least one of the matches he will utilise the 3-5-2 formation that was used in Friday's 1-0 home friendly victory over Latvia.

Dallas says he is happy to play wherever the manager puts him.

"Playing at wing-back was a different role for myself and it meant a lot more running but I had Jonny (Evans) in behind me and he was keeping me right," said the former Crusaders ace.

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"It's different but I'm just happy to play wherever the manager wants me to play.

"Being back with the boys again last week after qualifying the previous month was good for the players and Michael. He was able to try a new formation out against Latvia and it worked well.

"Defensively we were solid and we caused them problems going forward. We dominated possession and were happy to win and keep our momentum going."

Before the international break, Dallas had helped Leeds gain some momentum with two wins out of two in the Championship under new boss Steve Evans. The ex-Coagh United player will hope to make it a hat-trick of Leeds victories against Rotherham on Saturday and if Evans has his way international buddy Kyle Lafferty, not getting enough game time at Norwich, will soon be joining him at Elland Road.


Days to go

Belfast Telegraph