Belfast Telegraph

Rule Northern Ireland out of Euro contention at your peril, warns Stuart Dallas

Stuart Dallas
Stuart Dallas

By Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland star Stuart Dallas has insisted that anyone writing off the team's Euro 2020 chances could be making a big mistake.

Despite losing 2-0 at home to Germany on Monday night and with the Netherlands closing in, Leeds United ace Dallas believes Northern Ireland remain very much in the hunt for a top two finish in Group C, which would mean qualification for next year's finals.

Northern Ireland are second behind the Germans on goal difference, with both on 12 points from five games, with Holland in third on nine points from four.

O'Neill's team have a daunting trip to face the in-form Dutch on October 10 before a double-header in November when they host Holland and travel to Germany, who were rocked in the first half at Windsor prior to coming good.

It's a big ask, but Dallas declares making it out of the group is still on.

"Some people think that's our chances gone but we are still second in the group," said the ex-Crusaders ace.

"Holland have to beat us and there is no way we are going to make that easy for them. We have to take the positives out of the Germany game and, if we can replicate that first-half performance for 90 minutes, we will give them a game, and if we can get a little bit of luck, you just never know what we can do."

Dallas was sensational against Germany. He admits, though, he should have scored an equaliser in the second half following Gavin Whyte's fantastic run.

"I should have scored. If I'd been a yard closer to the goal it probably would have gone in, but it curled just wide of the post," said the Leeds hero.

"If the score is level then you never know how they react, but let's remember how good they were in the second half.

"We believe we had them rattled in the first half but they are a quality side. We should have taken something from the game, but when you don't take big chances at crucial times, you will pay the price."

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