Momentum will be key says Stuart Dallas

Stuart Dallas knows momentum will be key if Northern Ireland are going to progress out of their EURO 2020 qualification group.

Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 9:00 am
Stuart Dallas in action. Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker

They currently sit proudly at the summit with six points from six after victories over Estonia and Belarus ahead of the reverse fixtures at the start of June.

“If it finished now, it’d be alright wouldn’t it,” said the Leeds United man.

“Look, we’ve set ourselves targets and we’re on course for that and we can look forward to the two summer games now.

“Hopefully we can get another two victories.

“It’s no secret, the target was six points and we had to win these two games to give ourselves a chance to build momentum and we’ve done that.

“Without being disrespectful to the opposition these were two games we had to win and we’ve done that.

“We talked about it all week, we need momentum in this group.

“We didn’t get it in the Nations League and it was vital we hit the ground running from thee two games at the start of the Euro campaign.

“We’ve done that and it gives us a great chance heading into the summer.

“It’ll be another two tough games but it’s a chance for us to build more momentum and if we do that we’ll be in a good place.

“It’s a difficult time June because players finish their seasons at different stages, so it’ll be hard but at the end of the day it comes down to how much we want it.

“Players have got to keep themselves in the best condition possible and that’ll give us the best chance possible going into those two games.

“We’ll enjoy these two wins and be ready to go again in June.”

Northern Ireland certainly showed their resilience with the late winner against Belarus at Windsor Park on Sunday night.

Dallas knows just how important Josh Magennis’ late goal could prove to be when we reach the business end of things in the group.

“Yeah, it’s a big result for us,” he said.

“I think it says a lot about the resilience in the squad. We kept going right to the end despite a lot of people not playing a lot at their clubs recently.

“We showed at the end that we’re fit enough to go that extra distance.

“When we got the goal, we probably started to panic a bit, kicking it away, but it’s part of football and we’re just delighted to get the win.

“I think we kept believing in what we were doing and kept going right to the end.

“You’ve got to give the boys credit because it was a tough game.

“We knew it would be really tough and they have a bit of quality as well.

“We were disappointed with the goal we conceded and it gave them a lot of hope.

“I think they were happy to come here and get a point but Josh has come on and thankfully we managed to get the three points.”