Belfast Telegraph

Oliver wants some more of the same from Northern Ireland to beat plucky Faroe Islands

By Stuart McKinley

Oliver Norwood is warning his Northern Ireland team mates and the fans not to expect an easy ride in September's clash with the Faroe Islands.

Torshavn is the next stop for Michael O'Neill's men on their Euro 2016 journey and Norwood is in no doubt over the size of the task that will await.

The September double header - which also includes a home battle with Hungary - can potentially seal Northern Ireland's trip to France next summer.

Back-to-back victories would do just that, but after the Faroes did the double over Greece with a 2-1 win on Saturday evening Norwood knows that three points in the North Atlantic archipelago are not guaranteed.

"You can never underestimate anyone in international football," said Norwood.

"Every team is dangerous. The Faroes were dangerous when they came here, but we did our job on the night and got the three points.

"If it wasn't for Roy Carroll saving a penalty it would have been a lot more tense.

"They have beaten Greece twice and we won't be going there complacent. We will be going there to win the game and I am sure it will be all guns blazing come September."

And if any further evidence was needed to put Northern Ireland on guard before they take on Lars Olsen's team on Friday September 4, they only have to look back a couple of years to away games in Luxembourg and Azerbaijan, where they came away with nothing.

"Every team is a threat nowadays," said Reading midfielder Norwood.

"We have experienced that ourselves against Azerbaijan and Luxembourg in the last campaign. We lost both away games and we were poor on the night in those two games.

"We won't be underestimaing the Faroes, that's for sure."

Norwood came as close as anyone else to netting a winner for Northern Ireland in last Saturday night's scoreless clash with Romania at Windsor Park, with only goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu stopping the 24-year-old's pre-match score forecast coming true when he made a save from a late free kick.

"I predicted 1-0 before the game and it would have been nice to get that right, but he made a good save," said Norwood.

"We didn't have too many other chances in the game, apart from Kyle Lafferty near the end.

"It's another point towards getting to where we all want to be and it's in our hands.

"We are only a point behind the leaders of the group and we are still two points ahead of Hungary.

"The game in the Faroe Islands becomes even bigger now, especially with Hungary playing Romania on the same night.

"If we can win that game you never know, it could be over by the time we meet Hungary here."

Belfast Telegraph