Ian Baraclough urges Northern Eire to make use of Ukraine pleasant to indicate they will compete with Europe’s greatest

Ian Baraclough is eager to make use of Thursday’s pleasant in opposition to Ukraine to indicate Northern Eire are able to competing with the most effective sides in Europe.

Whereas Ukraine are making ready to go to Euro 2020, the fixture would be the final of Northern Eire’s season after their qualifying play-off defeat to Slovakia in November.

“We’re disillusioned to not be there,” mentioned Baraclough. “We predict we’re ok to be competing for an opportunity to be at these tournaments.

“We had been seven minutes away from a penalty shootout (in opposition to Slovakia) and we’d have been assured of getting by.

“They’re tremendous margins. It did not occur for us. We can’t watch the Euros with any pleasure however we need to be there subsequent time.”


Highlights of Northern Eire’s 3-0 pleasant win over Malta

Sunday’s 3-0 win over Malta gave Baraclough his first victory inside 90 minutes on the twelfth try, and although Thursday’s opposition look a lot, a lot more durable on paper, the squad are eager to construct on that efficiency.

“There is a behavior to profitable and we need to attempt to make it a behavior,” mentioned Baraclough.

“You do not ever tire of that profitable feeling. It provides the squad a raise. You come out feeling optimistic and we need to attempt to construct on it.

“Within the Nations League video games we knew there was a specific amount of blending the squad up, mixing gamers up and making an attempt various things however we’re in the midst of a World Cup marketing campaign now and these two video games are large for us.”

Kyle Lafferty
Kyle Lafferty might function in opposition to Ukraine

Baraclough named a robust facet for the Malta match and is anticipated to do the identical in Dnipro, although he has contemporary choices with Kyle Lafferty and Dan Ballard having joined up with the squad.

“Dan, after (Blackpool’s) play-off victory, he had an enormous smile on his face,” mentioned Baraclough.

“Kyle was most likely a few days later than deliberate resulting from Covid journey issues however each are in and each are up for choice.

“It is a credit score to them that they wished to be right here. It could have been fairly straightforward after a protracted season to show round and say they wished to remain at house.

“To be right here exhibits me there’s an actual spirit and an actual togetherness amongst this group.”

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