Team driven by pride not money, says Sanchez

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The Independent Online

Lawrie Sanchez insists that his Northern Ireland side are driven by pride not money as they prepare to face Iceland at Windsor Park today, after the Irish Football Association revealed that the squad and staff will share a bonus of "£1m plus" should they qualify for Euro 2008.

The manager said: "This group are committed to playing for their country. They are not in it for the money. That is not the motivation and why they are here. The motivation is playing well for their country and building up their number of caps."

Sanchez took the unusual step of going public on his team the day before the game. Sammy Clingan has retained his place after an impressive display in the victory against Finland in a warm-up match last month.

The Nottingham Forest midfielder vacates the spot left by Damien Johnson, who is suspended for two games. Steven Davis returns to the side after missing the match in Helsinki because of a thigh strain, while the Hull forward Stuart Elliott keeps his place despite an indifferent start to the season with his club.

Sanchez said: "Stuart showed in Finland he can still do the job I require. I have no doubts about him - he gives us an option in the air on the left side. He has a good goal ratio and a lot of things in his armoury we can use."

Such is the enthusiasm in the squad that Sanchez closed the final training session earlier than scheduled.

He said: "They were too lively and were flying into each other. I called a halt because I did not want any injuries. There is competition in all places and that can only be a good thing.

"The ones who are not in the team have been first-class. The players are more supportive of the squad as a whole. That has been the difference since I came in."

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