Next Game

Hungary v N Ireland

Sunday, 07 September 2014, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group F

Last Game

Chile 2 - 0 N Ireland

Thursday, 05 June 2014, 01:00

International Match

Magilton embracing Italy clash

Northern Ireland Under-21 manager Jim Magilton believes his side will benefit from the experience of hosting Italy on Wednesday.

Last Updated: 04/03/14 at 21:24 Post Comment

Jim Magilton: Relishing the prospect of facing Italy

Jim Magilton: Relishing the prospect of facing Italy

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

Sitting bottom of Group 9 with just three points from six matches, Northern Ireland have no prospect of qualifying for next year's European Under-21 Championship in the Czech Republic.

But Magilton, who also works as the Irish Football Association's elite performance director, believes coming into close quarters with sides such as the Azzurri can only help his players.

Italy arrive at Lurgan's Mourneview Park behind Serbia and Belgium in the standings and with plenty to play for.

"They are a great footballing nation and we're looking forward to having them over here," he said.

"It's a great opportunity for our young players to play against a really top-class side.

"This is very much a learning curve for a lot of these young players. This is where they will make their mistakes.

"But it's all part of their footballing education. At 21 they probably think they have cracked it, but they most certainly haven't."

Northern Ireland recorded their first win of the campaign against Cyprus last time out, Johnny Gorman's deflected free-kick delivering a 1-0 win, yet there are improvements to be made on their last meeting with Italy, where late mistakes came at a high cost.

"When we played them in Reggiana we were very good for periods of the game," said Magilton.

"We were competitive, we limited them to very few chances and then we got punished for two mistakes. If you do that against top-class opposition that is going to happen."

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Transfer news: Maribor's Agim Ibraimi refuses to rule out possible Celtic move

Maribor's Agim Ibraimi has refused to rule out a move to Celtic despite helping to end their Champions League dreams.

Indian Super League: Alessandro Del Piero to play for Delhi Dynamos franchise

Alessandro Del Piero will play for the Delhi Dynamos and will take up an ambassadorial role in the Indian Super League

Transfer news: West Brom closing on deal for winger Sebastian Blanco

West Brom are close to agreeing a deal to sign winger Sebastián Blanco, according to Sky sources.

Mail Box

Don't Forget Chelsea Also Need A Striker

With Diego Costa struggling for fitness, one Chelsea fan pipes up in the mailbox to remind us that the Blues also need a striker. Plus, thoughts on Rooney as captain...

A United Fan Happy To See Welbeck Go

One United fan doesn't understand all the fuss over Danny Welbeck, while we also have mails on Arsenal being Arsenal, curious transfers and how to pronounce 'Gaal'...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property