O'Neill content with 'a lot of aspects' of NI display in win over Luxembourg

Lars Krogh Gerson and Jordan Thompson vie for the ball during NI's win over Luxembourg
Lars Krogh Gerson and Jordan Thompson vie for the ball during NI's win over Luxembourg

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill says he was "pleased with a lot of aspects" of his side's performance in the 1-0 friendly win over Luxembourg.

A bizarre first-half own goal was enough to give NI victory in Belfast.

"The experienced players were very good tonight, Jordan Thompson was terrific and Shayne Lavery was excellent when he came on as well," said O'Neill.

"Overall I am delighted we came through the game, won it and managed to avoid injuries," added the NI boss.

O'Neill fielded a largely experimental line-up for the game with Monday's vital Euro 2020 qualifier against Germany at Windsor Park in mind.

Defender Ciaron Brown started the game for his international debut while Alfie McCalmont and Ethan Galbriath made their senior bows as second-half substitutes.

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Thompson is one for now - O'Neill

"It was a very young side - Alfie and Ethan are trying to establish themselves at club level - they are ones for the future," explained O'Neill.

"Jordan is one for now with his energy and quality of passing while Shayne has an impact whether he starts the game or comes on. It was just unfortunate he did not get a goal.

"Jordan was the pick of the bunch, Gavin [Whyte] was good on the right hand side, Tom Flanagan did well and it was a whirlwind week for Ciaron Brown.

"When you don't have depth to your squad then you have to improvise. We left the bigger players out with Monday night in mind and still managed to win the game."

Focus turns to Germany

The NI manager rested many of the players expected to feature in the massive qualifying encounter with the Germans but others were handed a chance to impress and force their way into his thoughts.

"Shane Ferguson and Conor McLaughlin were good in the full-back areas while George Saville and Corry Evans got minutes into their legs that they needed with Monday in mind, and Josh [Magennis] and Kyle [Lafferty] did ok too.

"Attention now turns to Germany and we have earned the right to be top of our group with four wins out of four in the campaign.

"We hope that Germany have a tough night against the Netherlands on Friday night, that we play above ourselves on Monday and they don't get to the level they are capable of."