Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill admits Premiership trio in contention for crucial Greece test

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BY DARREN JOHNSTONE – Capital City Press

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill admits Premiership trio Billy McKay, Josh Magennis and Liam Boyce are all in contention to spearhead the country’s push for a historic Euro 2016 place.

O’Neill is set choose one of the strikers to play the sole attacking role in next Thursday’s crucial match against Greece, with talisman Kyle Lafferty suspended.

northernireland
Former Rangers forward Kyle Lafferty is suspended for Greece game

 

A win for O’Neill’s side in Belfast will secure their return to a major finals for the first time in 30 years.

McKay, Magennis and Boyce have scored three, four and ten goals this season for Dundee United, Kilmarnock and Ross County respectively and O’Neill, who has distanced himself from the Tannadice vacancy, admits one of them will lead the line against the Greeks.

O’Neill said: “Suspensions present opportunities and there will be a chance for someone to come in up front.

“We’ve got Josh Magennis, Billy McKay and Liam Boyce all scoring goals and playing very well in the Scottish Premiership.

“We have played with two up front in the past, there are options but this is probably a game we won’t tinker with it too much.

“The good thing is that we have options as the players are playing for their clubs and scoring.

“We just have to look at the situation when I get the players in. We have various things to think about between now and then and whatever team we put on the pitch I’m sure it is capable of getting a result.

“I’m very confident we can finish the job off, I have full belief in this group of players.”

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