Belfast Telegraph

Euro 2016: Northern Ireland will hold our nerve, says Michael O'Neill

O'Neill backs his boys to handle the pressure

By Steven Beacom

Michael O'Neill is confident that Northern Ireland will hold their nerve as the pressure intensifies in the quest to qualify for the Euro 2016 finals.

The tension inside Windsor Park was palpable on Saturday night as Northern Ireland drew 0-0 with Romania... come the final four games of the campaign nerves will be shredded amongst the Green and White Army with such a huge prize at stake.

Romania lead Group F on 14 points with Northern Ireland a point behind and Hungary, following their 1-0 win in Finland, in third on 11.

Finishing third guarantees at least a play-off, but Northern Ireland boss O'Neill and his players want automatic qualification for next year's finals in France.

He is adamant that his players won't buckle under the stress sure to be in evidence for the crunch double header in September, when Northern Ireland are away to the Faroe Islands and at home to Hungary.

"The game with Romania was tense for both teams and I was glad to see how our boys handled it," said O'Neill.

"The pressure will crank up in the games to come and the players are going to have to deal with that. I believe the players will cope and hold their nerve."

Belfast Telegraph