Soccer

Northern Ireland boss Oxtoby ready for Nations League double-header against Hungary

Northern Ireland players and staff huddle together on the pitch at the end of the UEFA Women's Nations League Group B1 match against Albania at Seaview, Belfast. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA
Northern Ireland players and staff huddle together on the pitch at the end of the UEFA Women's Nations League Group B1 match against Albania at Seaview, Belfast. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Northern Ireland players and staff huddle together on the pitch at the end of the UEFA Women's Nations League Group B1 match against Albania at Seaview, Belfast. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA

Northern Ireland continues their UEFA Women's Nations League campaign against Hungary tonight at the Gyirmóti Stadion in Győr.

Tanya Oxtoby's side has had a mixed start to their Nations League campaign, losing 3-0 to the Republic of Ireland in their opener in Dublin and winning 1-0 against Albania at Seaview a month ago.

This will be Oxtoby's second game in charge of Northern Ireland and she hopes to keep the team in winning ways.

The Australian manager is confident going into the doubleheader against Hungary.

Northern Ireland manager Tanya Oxtoby presents Sarah McFadden with a commemorative match shirt to mark her 100th international cap. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA
Northern Ireland manager Tanya Oxtoby presents Sarah McFadden with a commemorative match shirt to mark her 100th international cap. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Northern Ireland manager Tanya Oxtoby presents Sarah McFadden with a commemorative match shirt to mark her 100th international cap. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA

Oxtoby said: “We’re in a good place where we are continuing to grow and develop.

“I think the next two games against Hungary will give us a good idea, in terms of match play, on where we need to be focused on

“I think there are elements of how we want to play there already and the players have really bought into the system.”

Hungary currently sit bottom of group one of League B after two games, with Northern Ireland sitting second in the table behind the Republic of Ireland, who have a 100% record in the competition.

“(The group) is very tight and I think that this is a positive,” said Oxtoby.

“It shows the growth of women’s football and that there are no easy games at this level, for us, it is a great challenge.”

Northern Ireland players and staff huddle together on the pitch at the end of the UEFA Women's Nations League Group B1 match against Albania at Seaview, Belfast. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA
Northern Ireland players and staff huddle together on the pitch at the end of the UEFA Women's Nations League Group B1 match against Albania at Seaview, Belfast. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Northern Ireland players and staff huddle together on the pitch at the end of the UEFA Women's Nations League Group B1 match against Albania at Seaview, Belfast. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA

Glentoran’s Nadene Caldwell is confident going into this Nations League fixture, and can only see room for the team to grow.

“We’ve obviously built off the last camp. We’re learning every day from Tanya and sticking to her principles,” said the 32-year-old.

“We’re going to bring that professional element and the tools that Tanya has given us so far onto the pitch.

“Hungary are very technical and T think they are going to come at us so we will have to be prepared defensively to hurt them on the counter-attack.”

The two sides will meet again next Tuesday evening, Halloween, at Seaview for the reverse fixture and the manager wants the fans to come out in force to support the side.

Northern Ireland fans in the stands at the end of the UEFA Women's Nations League Group B1 match at Seaview, Belfast. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Northern Ireland fans in the stands at the end of the UEFA Women's Nations League Group B1 match at Seaview, Belfast. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire Northern Ireland fans in the stands at the end of the UEFA Women's Nations League Group B1 match at Seaview, Belfast. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Oxtoby said: “We want the fans to come in their scary outfits and be as loud as they can.

“We want to make Seaview a fortress and make it really uncomfortable for any tea to come to and the fans are a part of that.”