Belfast Telegraph

How Northern Ireland can beat Germany, explain class of '82

 

By Adam McKendry

Northern Ireland's heroes of 1982-83 have told the Belfast Telegraph how Michael O'Neill's men can defeat Germany in tonight's World Cup qualifier.

That squad beat the Germans twice in the space of a year, both in Belfast and Hamburg, and now they believe the current crop could do the same at Windsor Park tonight.

Former midfielder Sammy McIlroy said: "We backed ourselves, believed we could get a result and we ended up winning 1-0 - our boys should be thinking the same way."

Ex-defender John McClelland said: "Germany will dominate possession, so it's all about taking your chances when they present themselves, as well as riding your luck."

His old defensive partner Mal Donaghy agreed, adding: "Everyone in that team will have to play the games of their lives.

"If the fans back them then they could have another night like 1982."

How NI can win

Ian Stewart

For Northern Ireland, there is a wee chance because I don’t expect Germany will play their full team. I can see them playing some of their very talented youngsters. Does anyone expect us to win? Possibly, people think we can get a draw and I think there is a really good chance of that.

Sammy McIlroy

Michael O’Neill will have a game plan set up and he’s got it right so far so I’m confident this will work as well. At home we should fancy ourselves against anyone, and Germany won’t enjoy a cold, wet night at Windsor Park. When we played them it was in similar conditions and we believed we could get a result — our boys should be thinking that tonight.

Mal Donaghy

How do you beat the world champions?!

Look, it’s going to be very difficult, and everyone in that team will have to play the games of their lives.

As well as that the fans have to get behind the team as they always do.

Michael O’Neill has them playing really well, and tactically he’s got it spot on, all they need is that belief that they can do it.

If the fans back them too then they could have another night like we did in 1982.

John McClelland

We beat West Germany twice but then we didn’t beat Albania, so what do I know!

Back then Billy Bingham was a brilliant tactician, he made sure we knew all our jobs and that was one of the most important things.

The camaraderie within the squad was great as well, and it’s like that within this squad too.

Germany will dominate possession, and Northern Ireland know this, so it’s all about taking your chances when they present themselves, as well as riding your luck a little bit.

Harry Gregg

Michael McGovern will be an important player again. In my lifetime when the Germans take to a football pitch in a big tournament they have always been the team to beat and this side is no different. They are an exceptional team and I rate them very highly. They have talent throughout the side and a winning mentality. Against the Germans you need all of your players playing well.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph