NATIONS LEAGUE: Paddy McNair targets four big points

Paddy McNair in action against Israel at the National Stadium.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Paddy McNair in action against Israel at the National Stadium. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Paddy McNair feels Northern Ireland need to take at least four points from their double header with Austria and Bosnia & Herzegovina if they are to top Nations League Group Three.

First up for Northern Ireland is Austria at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna on Friday night.

Both sides lost to Bosnia in their opening fixture last month and cannot afford to drop more points.

Northern Ireland are goalless in their last four away games, and although McNair thinks a win is now crucial against the Austrians, he knows they have to get something from the game.

“I don’t think it would be the end of the world if we didn’t get three points,” he said.

“If we want to finish top of the group though then I think we need at least four points out of these two games.

“They (Austria) have some very good players and it’s going to be a test for us.

“Most teams you play now are very good sides so we know we’re going to have to play well on the night to get three points.”

McNair is disappointed to be going into the games with nothing to show for their efforts despite a positive performance against Bosnia.

“Our performance against Bosnia was brilliant, and we should have won the game, we were very unlucky,” said the Middlesbrough defender.

“We have to go out and try and produce the same level of performance. Nine times out of ten when you play that good you will win the game.

“If we play like we did against Bosnia, especially the first half performance, we’ll definitely get points on the board.”