O'Neill promises more attacking play from Northern Ireland

After their disappointing 2-0 defeat to Russia, the former Shamrock Rovers manager promises his side will be more adventurous in their next qualifier against Luxembourg
Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill has promised his side will play more attacking and expansive football in their next World Cup qualifier.

The Northern Irish lost 2-0 to Russia in O’Neill’s first competitive game in charge, and the former Shamrock Rovers manager has indicated they will play more expansively in their next game against Luxembourg.

"Obviously the game against Luxembourg is a totally different game to Russia," he said.

5/1 Northern Ireland are 5/1 to beat Luxembourg 2-0 with Paddy Power
"It's a different mentality, a different approach to the one we had against the Russians.

“Who comes to Moscow and dominates possession? There are better teams than us who will go there and not dominate.

"I've said to the players we need to have the same work-rate and we approach that game in a very positive frame of mind.

"Hopefully we'll have a lot more of the ball against Luxembourg and we can benefit from that."

O’Neill was impressed by the work of striker Kyle Lafferty as he played a lone role up front, and has promised he will have more support in future qualifiers.

He added: "Tuesday will be a different game for Kyle, though I thought he was outstanding. He was so many attributes for that position, so much to offer.

"His movement, his game intelligence, his ability to pull away. He was excellent but maybe we didn't find him with the right ball at times.

"He'll play with someone a lot closer to him in the next game and he'll play with wide players too. The onus is on to attack and be positive."

The manager also praised goalkeeper Roy Carroll, who had been frozen out by previous boss Nigel Worthington, and is hopeful the 34-year-old can be his country’s first choice in the future.

"Roy was excellent for us," O'Neill said.

"People can forget Roy has a lot of experience of big games and other than Jonny Evans he will be our only player in the Champions League.

"There's great competition in there with Lee [Camp] and Alan Mannus but he has an opportunity now to establish himself as number one.

"In many ways for Roy it's a bit of a second coming. I think he realises that and he did everything he could to show he can take that opportunity."