Irish relishing Germany test

Date published: Saturday 25th July 2015 10:42

Northern Ireland will also face Czech Republic, Norway, Azerbaijan and San Marino in a competitive Group C.

But Nelson insists manager Michael O’Neill and his side will embrace the test.

“When Germany came out, we just thought what a great competition this is going to be,” he said.

“Any group with Germany in it is going to be difficult, but it’s going to be exciting.

“We didn’t do very well against Azerbaijan the last time we came up against them so we will be looking to improve.”

Speaking after Saturday’s draw in St Petersburg, Nelson admitted that Northern Ireland’s chances of making it to the finals are slim: “Qualifying for the World Cup is tough. There are 13 slots and you have to finish in the top two, with second place to make sure of a play-off.”

But Nelson is also optimistic about the progress the nation is making, adding: “We are playing really well in the Euro 2016 qualifiers at the moment, our FIFA ranking is 37, we were in pot three for the draw and were pot five when we started the campaign, so we are on the up.”

Northern Ireland are currently second in their European Championship qualifying group and have an excellent chance of making it to next summer’s tournament in France with four games remaining.

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