Euro 2016 draw: Michael O'Neill says N Ireland can progress

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Euro 2016: Michael O'Neill positive despite Northern Ireland's 'tough group'

Manager Michael O'Neill believes Northern Ireland can progress from their Euro 2016 group despite being handed a tough draw.

O'Neill's men, who won their group to qualify, will play world champions Germany, Poland and Ukraine in June.

"I believe we are capable of taking points from Ukraine and Poland before we face Germany," said O'Neill.

"Our focus is on being competitive and on finding a way out of the group. We are not going just for the experience."

Northern Ireland open their Group C fixtures against Poland on 12 June and O'Neill says avoiding defeat in Nice could be crucial.

Asked if he would specifically target the Ukraine game for getting points, O'Neill said: "I think the most important thing is to take something from your first game.

"The fixtures may work in our favour in that we have Poland and Ukraine before we play Germany.

"We have three Premier League centre backs and they will relish the challenge of playing against Thomas Mueller and Robert Lewandowski.

"We won our group - people tend to overlook that - and were the top scorers in our group.

"We have always done better against the bigger nations, like Russia and Portugal in our last World Cup group."

Northern Ireland fixtures (all times BST)

Sunday, 12 June

Poland v Northern Ireland (17:00)

Thursday, 16 June

Ukraine v Northern Ireland (17:00)

Tuesday, 21 June

Northern Ireland v Germany (17:00)

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