Belfast Telegraph

Euro 2020 is not mission impossible for O'Neill's brave boys

Ex-boss Hamilton expects underdogs NI to bite giants

Former Northern Ireland manager Bryan Hamilton
Former Northern Ireland manager Bryan Hamilton

By Steven Beacom

Former Northern Ireland boss Bryan Hamilton has declared that qualifying for the Euro 2020 finals from a group containing big hitters Germany and Holland is not mission impossible for Michael O'Neill's side.

Already across Europe, following Sunday's draw in Dublin, Northern Ireland have been written off as no-hopers.

But Hamilton, who earned draws away to both as a player and manager, warns that O'Neill and his side will relish the underdogs tag.

"It is one of the toughest draws but I can guarantee Germany and Holland won't find it easy when they travel to Belfast," said Hamilton.

"We are Northern Ireland, and that means there is never a mission impossible. Over the years we have shown that we can defeat bigger nations. Michael O'Neill has done an amazing job and will relish this qualifying group and those massive matches."

Hamilton believes it is key that in the first half of the qualifying campaign all of Northern Ireland's games are against the so called lesser lights in the group, Estonia and Belarus, offering O'Neill's men the chance to make a strong start ahead of four games with Germany and Netherlands.

"I'm hoping by the time Northern Ireland face the Dutch and Germany that they are in a good position in the group," said Hamilton.

"It will be very important to make a really good start."

Belfast Telegraph


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