Thursday 30 June 2016

EURO 2016 LATEST Visit Euro 2016 Hub

Fri 10th June

Sat 11th June

Sun 12th June

Mon 13th June

Tue 14th June

Wed 15th June

Thu 16th June

Fri 17th June

Sat 18th June

Sun 19th June

Mon 20th June

Sat 25th June

Sun 26th June

Mon 27th June

Today's Fixtures

Poland POL

Portugal POR


Fri 01st July

Wales WAL

Belgium BEL


Sat 02nd July

Germany GER

Italy ITA


Sun 03rd July

France FRA

Iceland ISL


O'Neill pleased by Ferguson loan move

Published 18/03/2013 | 16:11

Shane Ferguson joined Birmingham City on loan during the January transfer window
Shane Ferguson joined Birmingham City on loan during the January transfer window

Michael O'Neill is thankful Shane Ferguson was able to secure a loan move from Newcastle ahead of a key week of World Cup qualifiers for Northern Ireland.

  • Go To

O'Neill has placed a lot of trust in the 21-year-old since taking over as national boss at the start of last year, making him first choice on the left of midfield despite his relative inexperience.

But, after a positive start to the Premier League season that saw him increasingly involved in first-team affairs at St James' Park, Ferguson found himself nudged to the periphery by the influx of signings from France in January.

Ferguson played no senior club football in January or February and eventually agreed a loan deal with Birmingham.

He has earned rave reviews in his four games to date and provided the assist as Blues beat Middlesbrough 1-0 on Saturday.

O'Neill, himself a former Newcastle player, is delighted to see the player back showcasing his skills ahead of home clashes against Russia on Friday and Israel four days later.

"It was important to get Shane out on loan and I was pleased he got that opportunity," said O'Neill.

"The introduction of the new players at Newcastle made things very difficult and sort of halted the progress he was making there. He had been getting game time and making an impact, whether he was starting games or coming off the bench.

"But I think with Newcastle they were in a slightly more precarious position in January than they are now and it was hard to introduce a young player in that environment. The opportunity to go Birmingham and play for Lee Clark, who knows him very well from Newcastle, was good for him."

O'Neill's initial squad for the matches has had one change prior to the players' arrival in Belfast, with Derby forward Jamie Ward withdrawn pulling out injured on Sunday night and Aberdeen's Josh Magennis replacing him

Press Association

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport