Monday, July 22, 2024

Euro 2025 qualifying: Northern Ireland braced for ‘challenging’ double-header

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Burns won her 50th cap for her country in the home defeat against Portugal at the start of June after making her long-awaited Northern Ireland return in the draw with Malta in April.

It came after a 507-day gap between her previous cap after she sustained an Achilles injury.

The 27-year-old, who recently left Championship side Reading, said it was a “smooth transition” back into the Northern Ireland squad after being away for so long.

“It’s been great to get back and I feel like I never left,” she admitted.

“The Malta game was my first game under Tanya, I had a lot to prove as it was the first time she got to see me play since the injury, so it was a big opportunity, and it went well.”

Burns has been impressed with Oxtoby and believes that Northern Ireland are finally starting to see the benefits of the style of play she has been trying to implement.

“What she is trying to build as a team philosophy we are all buying in to, it takes time to fully connect with and for people to understand.

“It is easy to look in from an outside source and think things aren’t going well and with the Nations League results not going our way, but at the same time, things take time to fall into place.

“Tanya knows the calibre of players she has, the past two windows things have started to go the right way, so I’m looking forward to it and so are the other players.”

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