Why Michael O’Neill won’t be leaving Staffordshire as Northern Ireland prepare for Euro 2020 playoff



Stoke City boss Michael O’Neill won’t have to travel far at all for Northern Ireland training towards the end of this month.

Northern Ireland are set to gear up for their Euro 2020 qualifying playoff clash with Bosnia and Herzegovina on the 26th of this month.

Ahead of that key clash, Irish FA chief Patrick Nelson has confirmed Michael O’Neill and his team will use England’s St George’s Park in Burton as their training base.

That means O’Neill – who will be on Stoke duty until the day before the start of Northern Ireland’s camp – will not have to leave Staffordshire until he and his team jet off for Bosnia and Herzegovina the day before the game.

“Following the UEFA Euro 2020 play-off draw in Switzerland back in November we said we would be fully prepared for the play-offs and St George’s Park is the ideal location for Michael and the squad as they begin those preparations,” Nelson said.

“Our target is to make it to UEFA Euro 2020 and I’m sure the facilities and the experience of being at St George’s will help focus the players’ minds on the ultimate goal.”

The qualifying playoffs are just a one-off game this time around, giving Northern Ireland only one more shot of making the final tournament.

Though, whether there are any fans there to witness the game is another question with ticket sales postponed due to fear over the spread of corona virus.





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