‘We won’t Kop it against Romania’ insists Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill
Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill

Michael O’Neill believes the absence of The Kop at Windsor Park won’t dent Northern Ireland’s Euro 2016 hopes next month.

O’Neill’s men will not have the raucous backing from the iconic stand when they meet Group F leaders Romania on June 13.

Structural damage has led to the demolition of the Kop – which usually houses in excess of 4,000 fans.

The Irish FA has been forced to accelerate work on the brand new East Stand, South East quadrant and South Stand, and O’Neill believes his players will thrive in the new-look stadium.

“The stadium we’ll play in, with close to a 10,000 capacity, will be excellent for the players,” O’Neill said.

“We’ve dealt with changing in portable dressing rooms. We’ve dealt with half the stadium not being there.

“We’ve played two home games and won them so things like that are peripheral.

“The 4,000 people that were in the Kop won’t be sitting on their hands because we put them in a different part of the ground.”