MATTY Lund says that there are similarities between Burton Albion and Northern Ireland in recent times, as the midfielder prepares for the World Cup play-offs with his national side.
Northern Ireland were one of the surprise packages during Euro 2016, making it to the knockout stages. Michael O’Neill’s side continued their terrific form in qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, finishing second in their group to World Cup holders Germany and guaranteeing themselves a play-off place before the final round of fixtures.
Lund, who has been included in the Northern Ireland squad for their two-leg play-off against Switzerland, believe that the Brewers share similarities with O’Neill’s side, especially when playing at home.
He said: “They have caused a few shocks in the last couple of years and I think a lot of teams have a lot more respect towards Northern Ireland now when they play against them, similar to Burton. A lot of teams, when they come to the Pirelli, are up for the fight and it is the same at Windsor Park.”
The former Rochdale man, who has three international caps, hopes to stay in O’Neill’s plans, but says that he is solely focused on performing for the Brewers, even if Northern Ireland qualify for the World Cup.
“It is a big two games for Northern Ireland and if we can get to Russia, it will be fantastic.
“It is good if he (Michael O’Neill) has been watching, but I just have to focus on my performances here and hope that we (Burton) get the results for us, that is all I am focused on at the moment.”
Northern Ireland play the first leg of their play-off at Windsor Park on Thursday evening.