Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill has called on his side to be”a tiny bit more polished” in the final third after their 2-0 win over Estonia.

Two second half goals ensured victory for Northern Ireland in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier later Paddy McNair missed a gilt edged opportunity to put his side ahead in the first half.

“Subconsciously you think something could go another way,” said O’Neill.

“But we know as a team that people must enhance sometimes in the third.”

He added:”It is difficult if you have opportunities and you don’t take them”

Northern Ireland were rarely threatened in the first half in Belfast but they fought to create primitive chances themselves despite playing in Estonia’s half.

McNair’s downward header from just a few yards out bounced across the bar whilst the sides went in to the interval level at 0-0.

“Our last ball at times should be improved and we didn’t secure enough touch on the ball in the box,” said O’Neill, whose side’s attacking play improved in the 2nd period.

“A lot of our play was very good but we just need to be just a tiny bit more glistening in the last third.”

“Once you have the opening goal it requires the tension out of the game and the team begins to unwind a little bit,” O’Neill added.

Peacock-Farrell stands tall

The 21-year-old keeper started the summer growing season as Leeds United’s first selection however has since fallen behind Kiko Casilla at the pecking order at Elland Road.

“He is a rather young goalkeeper and we’re requesting a lot of him,” O’Neill said.

“He has got huge potential and in an integral moment in the game he left a huge rescue. He will grow from that and a blank sheet is important for both the team and also for him personally “

Northernireland host Belarus on Sunday and will hope for the following three points, with games against Group C favourites holland and ahead after this year.


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