Dion Charles reflects on 'brilliant' first start for Northern Ireland

Charles played around 75 minutes against Kosovo
Charles played around 75 minutes against Kosovo

Wanderers forward Dion Charles is delighted to have made his first start for Northern Ireland in their 2-1 win against Kosovo.

Charles played around 75 minutes before making way for Shayne Lavery and was denied by goalkeeper Arijanet Muric on the stroke of half-time.

The 26-year-old played alongside former Bolton man Josh Magennis up front and believes they “compliment” each other.

Charles hopes he can build on his first start and is already relishing Tuesday night’s trip to Greece in the Nations League.

"It's my first senior international start. I had my little one and missus over watching and we got the win, so that's the main thing. It was brilliant,” he said.

"Me and Josh compliment each other really well. Josh is a big physical striker and I work off someone like that. We were a handful all game for them and caused them problems.

"We just kept going and showed what we are about as a whole squad. Even the boys that came off the bench contributed and got us the goals, so it is a team game and the main thing is we won.

"This game is done now. We will look forward to Tuesday and hopefully get something out of that."

Bolton team-mate Conor Bradley also started and received praise from manager Ian Baraclough for his performance.

Despite his youth, the Liverpool loanee has become in important member of Baraclough’s side over the past year.

"Every win means something. But it is our first Nations League win in 15 and I'm really pleased with that and it gives us a platform to build on,” said the Northern Ireland boss.

"We know we're not the finished article but we are still building and we are still trying things out.

"We have new players coming through. I thought Conor Bradley was fantastic at right wing-back and then right-back. He kept going forward.”

Baraclough’s side are currently third in their group and could climb above Kosovo if they get anything on Tuesday night.

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