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Man Utd influence is evident in group-topping Northern Ireland team - O'Neill

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill has praised the influence of players in his side that have progressed through the Manchester United youth academy.


O'Neill's Ireland side features six players who started their careers at Old Trafford and he has praised the mentality of some of the players in furthering their careers, even if they didn't quite make the cut at United.

The likes of Jonny Evans, Oliver Norwood, Craig Cathcart and Luke McCullough all spent time at United in the past and O'Neill feels that is evidenced by their leadership and overall quality.

After qualifying for Euro2016, O'Neill said: "They may have come away from Manchester United, but they've fought back from that disappointment and developed careers for themselves.

"Some of them, like Craig Cathcart, are back in the Premier League (with Watford) and some are in the Championship, but now they're here performing on the international stage and they're going to get the chance to go to a major finals."

Northern Ireland finished top of Group F with 21 points from 10 matches, one clear of second-placed Romania as they safely progressed to the UEFA tournament in France next summer.

Stephen Tew
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Stephen Tew

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