Denmark 0 Northern Ireland 0: Sanchez counsels caution to his princes of Denmark

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The Independent Football

Lawrie Sanchez fears that Northern Ireland's rising mood of optimism in their Euro 2008 qualifying campaign could be curtailed on Wednesday. That is when his side face Latvia - 4-0 winners against Iceland - at Windsor Park.

Sanchez accepts his side are at their best when the odds are against them, as in Copenhagen on Saturday and last month when they beat Spain at home. It is in dealing with teams close to them in the world rankings that problems occur.

"It was a good night in Denmark but that was the easy part," he said. "I always felt we could get something out of the game even though they were the favourites. The hard part comes on Wednesday when we will be expected to beat Latvia. But that could prove difficult."

The goalkeeper Maik Taylor was a commanding figure and there were fine contributions from the back four, of whom Michael Duff will sit out the Latvia game, having picked up his second booking of the campaign.

Sanchez said: "We set out to frustrate Denmark and restrict them to long-range shots. I am very pleased we managed to chalk up a clean sheet after conceding five goals in the first two games.

"It was a good game for a nil-nil and on our day we're not a bad side, as Spain also found out."

Denmark (4-4-2): Sorensen (Aston Villa); Jacobsen (Copenhagen), Gravgaard (Copenhagen), Agger (Liverpool), N Jensen (Fulham); D Jensen (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (Seville), Kahlenberg (Auxerre), Tomasson (Stuttgart); Jorgensen (Fiorentina), Lovenkrands (Rangers). Substitutes used: C Jensen (Fulham) for Lovenkrands, 56; Christiansen (Copenhagen) for Sorensen, 68; Bendtner (Birmingham City) for Niclas Jensen, 74.

Northern Ireland (4-4-2): Taylor (Birmingham City); Duff (Burnley), Hughes (Aston Villa), Craigan (Motherwell), Evans (Antwerp); Clingan (Nottingham Forest), Davis (Aston Villa), Baird (Southampton), Gillespie (Sheffield United); Lafferty (Burnley), Healy (Leeds United). Substitutes used: Johnson (Birmingham City) for Clingan, 57; Jones (Burnley) for Lafferty, 64; Feeney (Luton) for Healy, 84.

Referee: K Plautz (Austria).

Booked: Northern Ireland Taylor, Duff, Evans, Gillespie.

Man of the match: Taylor.

Attendance: 41,482.

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