MX23RW : Monday, October 15 18:00:15

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill: "I feel sorry for Scotland"

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill says that he 'feels sorry for Scotland' after seeing them miss out on a World Cup qualification playoff spot.

Michael O'Neill has insisted that he has sympathy for Scotland, despite their draw against Slovenia ensuring that Northern Ireland will compete in the World Cup playoffs.

The Green and White Army travelled to Oslo for Sunday's match against Norway potentially needing a point to keep their hopes of reaching next summer's tournament alive.

Dropped points for Scotland in their 2-2 draw with Slovenia means that Northern Ireland will now definitely be among the eight best group runners-up, however, before even kicking a ball in their clash with Norway.

Speaking ahead of that match, O'Neill told Sky Sports News: "We tried to focus on the game, but with the early kickoff it's difficult to stop players from getting information. I feel sorry for Scotland.

"It has taken pressure off in this game, but we have to play properly. If I didn't have to get the team in 75 minutes before kickoff, I may have rested players. They have been good, they understand the situation and we will manage the game if we have to withdraw players for the playoffs."

Norn Iron won five qualifiers on the spin prior to going down 3-1 to Germany in their most recent outing.

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Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill after the Euro 2016 Qualifier between Northern Ireland and Faroe Islands at Windsor Park on October 11, 2014
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