Euro 2016: Northern Ireland can hurt Germany - Michael O'Neill

By Lyle JacksonBBC Sport in Paris
NI boss O'Neill aims to thwart Germany
Euro 2016: Northern Ireland v Germany
Venue: Parc de Princes, Paris Date: Tuesday, 21 June Kick-off: 17:00 BST
Coverage: BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Sport website and app.

Northern Ireland believe they can "hurt" world champions Germany in their final Euro 2016 Group C match, says manager Michael O'Neill.

A draw at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday would secure O'Neill's side a place in the last 16, but they could progress even with a defeat.

O'Neill said: "This is a special moment for Northern Ireland.

"There is no team that is flawless. It is up to us to maximise opportunities with whatever possession we have."

The 46-year-old acknowledged Germany would provide "the toughest test" but is glad his side have qualification for the last 16 "in our own hands".

He said: "When we qualified in October, if you had offered us the chance to play the world champions in Paris, where winning would see us win the group, we would have taken it.

"We will do everything we can to keep progressing."

O'Neill's side lost their opening group game 1-0 to Poland but beat Ukraine 2-0 last Thursday - their first win at a European Championship - to sit third in the group.

Davis relishing Germany showdown

More changes?

O'Neill made five changes to his starting line-up for the game against Ukraine, but said that was not as radical as had been interpreted.

"Eight of that team played against Greece when we qualified," he said.

"We brought in a player on 101 caps at right-back, a Premier League player at left-back and Conor Washington up front.

"It was not as momentous as people were making it out to be."

He added the team he selected to face Germany would be fresh because of those changes.

NI make history with first win at Euros

'Never look too far ahead'

At Monday's eve-of-match media conference, O'Neill was asked what he would do if he received a tempting club offer after the tournament.

O'Neill, whose only previous managerial experience was with Brechin City and Shamrock Rovers, said: "Football has taught me never to look too far ahead.

"I signed a four-year deal before the tournament and I think that was the right thing to do.

"But if something presents itself, you evaluate it. The same goes for the association.

"I am enjoying the Northern Ireland job and will just take it as it comes."

Germany 'expect to have more chances'

Germany coach Joachim Low did not attend his scheduled media session on Monday because of a sore throat.

Assistant manager Thomas Schneider insisted the team would be well prepared for Tuesday's game.

"We know what to expect and we respect them," he said.

Defender Mats Hummels added: "We expect to have more chances in this game than we did against Poland.

"Our intention is to impose ourselves from the first minute and not give Northern Ireland confidence."

Germany beat Ukraine 2-0 in their opening match, before a 0-0 draw against Poland.

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC