O'Neill hopes to keep feelgood factor going with first win
NORTHERN IRELAND v AZERBAIJAN:Michael O’Neill is desperate to end his wait for a first victory as Northern Ireland manager against Azerbaijan tonight.
O’Neill has presided over three draws and three defeats since taking over from Nigel Worthington but has a real chance to end his first year in charge on a high note in the World Cup qualifier at Windsor Park.
A morale-boosting 1-1 draw against Portugal last month went a long way to bringing a feelgood factor back to the squad but the former Shamrock Rovers boss knows there is nothing like a home win to raise spirits.
O’Neill has a couple of tricky selection calls to make after his side’s heroics in Porto, with the likes of Corry Evans and Oliver Norwood likely to drop out despite their brave performances against Cristiano Ronaldo and company.
Chris Brunt and Shane Ferguson are back after missing that match with injury, while Dean Shiels is a strong contender to return to the starting XI as Kyle Lafferty’s attacking foil.