Belfast Telegraph

Magilton's men face Ukraine still seeking first win

By Stuart McKinley

Jim Magilton wants to see his Northern Ireland under-21 team unleash their frustration on Ukraine at Mourneview Park tonight (7.30pm).

They will go into the game still looking for their first win of the campaign, after losing three of the previous four.

The frustration comes in because Northern Ireland were in front in each of the first three matches before losing 1-0 to France last Thursday, but have only one points to show for their efforts.

Even those three defeats, to Scotland, Macedonia and Ukraine, have all been by only one goal.

"We have scored first in three games, but we haven't been able to sustain that," said Magilton.

"We have had lots of players who have come with lack of minutes at club level, so it's always been a worry and a challenge for us to sustain levels of quality in an international environment.

"We just need that quality where it matters, in the final third and if we can provide that quality then we have the players that can hurt Ukraine.

"We've been competitive in every game, we've lost by the odd goal and we will continue to improve and continue to develop players to play in our senior team."

Ryan McLaughlin has dropped out of the squad after picking up his second yellow card of the campaign in France.

Magilton has called upon St Johnstone's Eoghan McCawl to bring the numbers up in his squad.

The midfielder has impressed for the Saints under-20s this season after moving from Hull City.

Belfast Telegraph


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