herald

Thursday 27 June 2019

Nicholl keen to build on Estonia win

Jimmy Nicholl
Jimmy Nicholl

Jimmy Nicholl has urged Northern Ireland to build on their 2-0 Estonia win against Belarus tomorrow.

Michael O'Neill's team made a winning start to their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign on Thursday thanks to second-half goals from Niall McGinn and Steven Davis.

The home games against Estonia and Belarus are seen as must-wins in a hard group containing Holland and Germany.

Northern Ireland No.2 Nicholl says six points would revive memories of their successful Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

"It's great seeing yourself top of the group rather than bottom," he said. "They proved it in the last qualifying campaign and it's the same in this one.

"If we can get off to a flyer, get our heads down with Estonia and Belarus away in the summer, it's a chance to accumulate as many points as you wish if you go about your job properly, before we meet the obvious in Germany and Holland."

Gareth McAuley returned to training yesterday after missing the Estonia match with a hamstring problem, but both Corry Evans (hamstring) and Gavin Whyte (thigh) remain sidelined.

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