O'Neill seeks to finish the job

02 September 2017 04:11:18 EST

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill has backed his side to defeat the Czech Republic on and make sure of a play-off place in World Cup qualifying.

A patchy 3-0 win in San Marino moved the Irish seven points clear of the Czechs with three games to play in the battle for second place in Group C, with the two sides facing each other in Belfast on Monday.

You look back at recent situations where we've had a big prize to play for and we handled it well.

Michael O'Neill

And O'Neill has no doubts that his players will rise to the occasion, having backed up their fine form at Euro 2016 with a series of quality displays in their bid to reach the World Cup finals in Russia next summer.

He told reporters: "When we came into this campaign we were holding on to a fantastic experience in France and you never want the standards to drop.

"You're always a little bit vulnerable, we didn't have an influx of players, so it's testament to those players, to their motivation that they've continued to do what they've done.

"If we can take care of business on Monday night and have a play-off to look forward to, it's something for us to relish. In essence our World Cup will start in November.

"You look back at recent situations where we've had a big prize to play for and we handled it well. We have three games to go, but we want to take care of business on Monday."

The last three meetings between the two teams have all ended in goalless draws, including a 0-0 stalemate in Prague in September last year.

Northern Ireland are 23/10 to claim victory on Monday evening, with the draw priced at 21/10, while the hosts are 7/2 to win the game by a one-goal margin.

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