Hamilton seeks to entertain


NORTHERN IRELAND finished off their European Championship campaign with a spectacular 5-3 eclipse of Austria last November. However, a clear indication of whether that performance was a one-off or a reliable guide to the future should emerge against Norway at Windsor Park tonight.

It is the perfect follow-up for the North as far as manager Bryan Hamilton is concerned with the Norwegian squad containing several English Premiership players.

"They are a strong side and you can forget about the friendly tag. This will be a competitive international," said Hamilton last night.

Hamilton was disappointed that Northern Ireland, after some tremendous performances outside Belfast did not reach this summer's European Championship finals. He is looking forward to the World Cup qualifying series, in which the North are in an extremely tough group, and hopes his team will again provide home supporters with high calibre entertainment.

Hamilton will play his part in that by sending out an attacking team which will almost certainly include Newcastle winger Keith Gillespie, despite the fact that he hasn't been in the Newcastle starting line-up recently.

Michael O'Neill is also out of favour at Hibernian just now but again he'll probably get the nod.