Michael O’Neill expecting difficult night

Northern Irelands Josh Magennis - San Marino v Northern Ireland - 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying

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Northern Ireland coach Michael O’Neill insists his side will need to handle the pressure on Monday night as they take on the Czech Republic in a World Cup Qualifier.

Northern Ireland currently sit second in Group C, five points behind Germany. They are seven points ahead of third-placed Czech Republic and O’Neill claims Monday’s game is a must win for the visitors.

O’Neill’s men have won their last four games against Norway, New Zealand, Azerbaijan and San Marino and they can secure second spot if they avoid defeat on Monday.

With home advantage on their side, Northern Ireland will be confident of getting a result but O’Neill has warned his troops that they are in for a difficult night.

He told reporters: “There will be times during the game when we’ll be under pressure, I’ve no doubt about it. “The Czech Republic have to come and win the game, it’s as simple as that.

It’s their last throw of the dice, whereas we have three throws of the dice and that’s a nice position to be in. “We have to make sure on and off the pitch the atmosphere is generated in the stadium.

Hopefully we’ll have a special night. “The focus is on ourselves. We know we’re going to have to play extremely well and produce a big performance.

“Our objective is to try and win the game on Monday night. It would be nice knowing we are in a strong position going in to play Germany at home.”

Northern Ireland are 2.80 to win the game, with the draw 3.10, while Czech Republic are priced at odds of 2.75.

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