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Thursday 15 Jun 2023
UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier: We respect Denmark but won’t fear them, says Bradley

Conor Bradley says Northern Ireland have no fear as they prepare to take on Denmark in their own back yard.

The Liverpool defender is relishing the prospect of Friday night’s UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier in Copenhagen where a tricky test awaits Michael O’Neill’s squad.

Bradley, who spent last season on loan with Bolton Wanderers, is aiming to add to his 12 international caps and says he’s keen to test himself against the Danes, should he get the nod from the boss at Parken Stadium.

“We’re all looking forward to the game,” he said. “We don’t go there with any fear but with respect for Denmark who are a very good team.

“Personally, I look forward to every game but to be able to play against Premier League players and people playing in the Champions League will be a good experience for me. Hopefully I can just go out and do the best I can.

“Looking back on March’s games, we did well against San Marino in our group opener and we got the three points. We should have got more from the Finland game. We were all disappointed after it but we’re just looking to go again now.”

The 19-year-old prospect said he’s enjoyed working with O’Neill since he returned to the managerial hot-seat at the end of last year and, also, revealed he’s drawn a huge amount from more experienced players on the international stage.

“It’s been really good working with the boss,” he commented. “I’ve learnt a lot from him in a short space of time. Before he came back to the job, I’d heard about how good he is, and he has definitely lived up to that. He’s been brilliant.

“There’s a great spirit in the squad and it’s nice to catch up with all the lads again but seeing people like Jonny (Evans) and Davo (Steven Davis) when he’s here – players I look up to – it’s unbelievable being around them as well.”

The Castlederg teenager, who returns to pre-season with Liverpool this summer, admitted he learnt a lot about himself as a player while on loan with League One side Bolton last term.

“I really enjoyed my time at Bolton,” he commented. “We had the high of being at Wembley in the Papa John’s Trophy final which was the best day of my life. Being able to go there and win 4-0 was amazing. The celebrations after were class. We had the low of losing out in the play-offs and it was probably the biggest low I’ve had in my career. It was very disappointing.

“But, overall, it was a great season and that’s what you go out on loan to do. I wanted to learn more about myself, and I did that. Being able to just keep going was probably the biggest thing I learned about myself. I played quite a lot of games for Bolton – I think it was 50-plus. Being able to count myself available for every game was something that I was happy with.

“I got an amazing reception from the Bolton fans in my final game. They were brilliant to me from day one, they took me in like one of their own. It’s a special club and I’ll always remember it. Definitely.”