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Euro 2025 qualifying: Northern Ireland ‘more prepared’ for Portugal – Tanya Oxtoby

Written by on June 4, 2024

Northern Ireland face Portugal at Mourneview Park in Lurgan as Windsor Park is undergoing maintenance.

In previous years, Seaview in north Belfast, which has a 4G pitch, has been the unofficial home of the Northern Ireland women’s side but in recent matches, they have played more at the national stadium, on a grass pitch.

“Grass is always my preference and the grass pitch here [at Mourneview Park] is a great surface,” she explained.

“I’m excited to see the girls play at Mourneview and it’s good to get out and about [in Northern Ireland].”

Oxtoby wants Northern Ireland who are second Group B3, a point ahead of third place Bosnia-Herzegovina, to focus on making good decisions when they win the ball in positive areas against Francisco Neto’s side.

“For us it’s about transition to retain, when we get the ball back can we go create a goalscoring opportunity or do we need to try keep possession and be braver in tight areas, because they do press quite well.

“When you play good teams, they adapt and adjust and given that we’re a younger team on our journey it takes us a bit longer to make those tweaks – so the challenge to our girls is to make better decisions under pressure, because Portugal are a really good team.”

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