Alexandra Stadium

Next Game

Qatar v N Ireland

Sunday, 31 May 2015, 17:00

International Match

Windsor Park

Last Game

N Ireland 2 - 1 Finland

Sunday, 29 March 2015, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group F

O'Neill: Friendly important

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill insists Friday's friendly against Turkey will form an important part of his planning for the Euro 2016 campaign.

Last Updated: 14/11/13 at 17:00 Post Comment

Michael O'Neill: Friendlies important for Northern Ireland boss

Michael O'Neill: Friendlies important for Northern Ireland boss

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

O'Neill has travelled to Adana with only a 17-man squad, with absentees reaching double figures, but is looking forward to the game.

"Games like this are essential," he said.

"The next date is in March and after that there is possibly an opportunity at the end of May with teams preparing for Brazil, we'll look at options there, so these games are invaluable.

"Three friendly games amounts to about nine days with the players, I think that puts into perspective the challenge we face.

"I understand some of the clubs have difficulties with them but for us to be able to build and develop a team we have to be able to have all of these fixtures.

"It can be difficult at times because you don't always get the ideal scenario or the ideal fixture but I'd rather come and play the likes of Turkey - a difficult game with an edge to it - than a less meaningful friendly."

New York Red Bulls midfielder Jonny Steele is set to win his first cap against Turkey after impressing O'Neill with his determination.

"Jonny is a late developer and the path he's taken to where he is now is not the traditional path," said the former Shamrock Rovers boss.

"He's played indoor soccer in the States, gone on a season-to-season basis having to make his living, so it's nice for him to get his opportunity to be part of an international squad on the back of what has been a very good season.

"He's playing in a league which is highly regarded now and for one of the biggest clubs in that league.

"He plays with some big name players (including Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill) albeit probably not in their prime.

"This last year there has been a real maturity in his game, and in himself, and it's good to get a chance to work with him first hand."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

H

ow magnanimous off him - to leave if he's asked to by the owners? What's the alternative, bunker down in his office claiming squatter's rights if FSG want rid?

feed the bear
Rodgers: I'll go if owners want

Footer 365

Uruguayan players' union claims Luis Suarez is FIFA victim

The Uruguayan players’ union wants Luis Suarez’s ban lifted as they think he is a victim of alleged corruption at FIFA

CONCACAF have 'provisionally dismissed' president Jeffrey Webb

CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb has been 'provisionally dismissed' by the governing body for football in North and Central America.

Sepp Blatter: Tiny minority to blame for FIFA crisis

Sepp Blatter has told FIFA's annual congress he had no way of monitoring "a tiny minority" of officials accused of corruption.

Mail Box

What Is It That FIFA Actually Do?

That's the question raised timidly by someone sat at the back of the room, whilst others remind that UEFA aren't perfect either. Plus a few more gone on to better XIs...

Time To Step Up, Mr Platini...

UEFA should step up and extend the Euros to replace FIFA's tarnished World Cup, say a couple of mailboxers. Also: all hail Carlo, King of the Kop, and plenty more Budget XIs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company