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Tuesday 07 Jun 2022
Lavery says Northern Ireland motivated to bounce back

Shayne Lavery is looking to put things right against Kosovo in Northern Ireland’s next UEFA Nations League fixture.

The striker is confident Ian Baraclough’s team will respond positively in Pristina on Thursday night.

“We want to use the hurt from not beating Cyprus to get the three points against Kosovo later this week. I think everyone is motivated to do that,” he said.

The forward revealed the players are disappointed with both the 0-0 result against Cyprus and the 1-0 defeat to Greece in their opening League C Group 2 match last week.

He felt the team had plenty of possession against the Cypriots but they were not clinical enough in the final third.

“We were disappointed we did not come away with the win. We just couldn’t get that finishing touch,” he said.

Lavery stressed it was a positive to see Conor McMenamin and Brodie Spencer making their senior debuts in the 0-0 stalemate at the AEK Arena – and Shea Charles making his bow against the Greeks.

He insisted: “It takes time to integrate players, however I feel like we are moving forward and we are looking forward to the game against Kosovo.

“Everyone just wants to play Kosovo now after the game against Cyprus so that we can hopefully put things right. We want to get the three points.

“We are confident that we are gelling more and more as time goes on and hopefully the wins will come with it. There is loads of young talent coming through.”

The striker acknowledged that Kosovo, whom Northern Ireland face in Pristina on Thursday in the third instalment of this month’s UEFA Nations League quadruple header, will be tricky opponents.

“We have watched clips of Kosovo. They have some decent players who are good on the ball,” he said.

The Kosovans defeated Cyprus 2-0 in Larnaca in their League C Group 2 opener before losing 1-0 at home to Greece on Sunday.