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I'll conquer Windsor this time: Prosinecki

By Ian Parker ·

Bosnia and Herzegovina coach Robert Prosinecki suffered a heavy defeat the last time he visited Windsor Park but is confident of a different result against Northern Ireland in today's Uefa Nations League opener.

Croatian Prosinecki was the man in charge of Azerbaijan when they were thumped 4-0 by Northern Ireland in a World Cup qualifier in November 2016.

But he returns with a much stronger squad - boasting the likes of Roma striker Edin Dzeko and Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic - having taken the Bosnia and Herzegovina job at the start of the year.

"We know the Northern Ireland team very well because they have played with almost the same squad in three qualification rounds and they have achieved big success with the same team," he said through a translator.

"They are a really good team. I was here with Azerbaijan and we lost that match, but we have a good team with great players and we expect to win."

Prosinecki will find some changes to the Northern Ireland team though, with Chris Brunt a big part of that 4-0 win as he scored one and set up another. The West Brom captain has now retired from international duty, but Prosinecki expects a similar approach from the hosts.

"Our players expect a tough game and know Northern Ireland will be aggressive," he said. "They have a very strong mentality and they are physically very well prepared. We have to stay concentrated for the whole match and we expect to achieve a good result."

Prosinecki will be forced into making a couple of changes to his team. Red Bull Salzburg right-back Darko Todorovic was expected to start but Uefa have confirmed he is suspended due to yellow cards collected on Under-21 duty, while left-back Bojan Nastic is doubtful with a calf injury.

Even so, he has considerably more resources available to him on this trip than he did with Azerbaijan, a fact not lost on Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill.

"We expect Prosinecki to have the same approach as he had with Azerbaijan but with better players," O'Neill said.

"We expect an open game. Bosnia will play, they have a lot of fluency in their team and good midfield players.

"It's an exciting time for them. They've missed out narrowly on the finals of the last two competitions and under a new coach they will be eager to prove that they are capable of having a good Nations League and then qualification for the Euros.

"We're expecting to be in a tough game but with the preparation that we've had we're ready for it."