Sanchez desperate to build on upset against England

Sanchez is anxious to build on that remarkable achievement as they go into the final round of matches against Wales on Saturday and Austria four days later.

"The England match will always be remembered by those who were there," said the Northern Ireland manager. "But rather than just making it a night in isolation, let's make it a foundation for a resurgence in Northern Ireland football."

Sanchez's side could finish third in group six ahead of Austria, after successive victories against England and Azerbaijan. While Northern Ireland host Wales, England will be facing Austria at Old Trafford. Depending on results, there could be a third-place showdown in Vienna.

Sanchez said: "I am sure England will beat Austria - and assuming we get a win against Wales, we can go to Vienna fighting for third position. It would be marvellous if that game meant something. It could be a great night."

Northern Ireland and Wales drew 2-2 last time out in Cardiff in a feisty encounter which saw Northern Ireland finish with nine men when Michael Hughes and David Healy were both sent off, as was Wales' Robbie Savage.

Sanchez said: "We need a positive result after the England game. But I always thought it would be tough against Wales. They are very similar to us but have a bit more quality at the top end of the field. They can call on John Hartson, Rob Earnshaw, Ryan Giggs and Simon Davies."

The West Ham goalkeeper Roy Carroll is expected to back up Maik Taylor against Wales, despite suffering a hairline fracture of his thumb. Taylor, who has a back problem, took part in training, but the midfielder Steve Robinson is doubtful with a heel injury.

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