Close ties in Northern Ireland side paid off against Kosovo, says Conor Bradley

Northern Ireland teenage star Conor Bradley says the team’s unity in a turbulent week was the reason for Saturday’s dramatic comeback Nations League victory over Kosovo, the youngster insisting the plan is to follow up with another win against Greece tonight.

Liverpool’s Bradley, on loan at League One Bolton Wanderers, was magnificent in the 2-1 success, causing constant danger as he repeatedly attacked in his right-back role.

The 19-year-old, full of energy and desire not to mention class, created chances and almost scored twice in a performance that left the green and white army eager to see more of the kid from Castlederg.

Bradley was delighted to see substitute Gavin Whyte equalize in the 82nd minute and Josh Magennis heading in an injury-time winner to give Northern Ireland a first Nations League triumph, and all after Kyle Kilmarnock’s Lafferty and Glentoran’s Conor McMenamin were dropped from the squad amid reports circulating on social media.

McMenamin has since returned to the panel and is in contention to play Athens in the final game of Northern Ireland’s campaign in the competition.

“We’ve been really together all week,” Bradley told the Belfast Telegraph.

“Obviously different things happened but we stuck together and it showed on the pitch on Saturday. When we were down 1-0 we could have crumbled but we stuck together, equalized and we continued and got the winner in stoppage time and that shows the unity in the group.

“Now we have a big game against Greece. We want to build on the three points we won against Kosovo and hopefully we can do that with another victory on Tuesday.

Sparkling at Bolton, Bradley brought this form to the international stage at Windsor Park.

“I tried to work my socks off and do my best, like I always do. Another day I might have a goal or two,” he added.

“It’s part of being a ring winger. The gaffer (Ian Baraclough) wants me to get high and in attacking positions and luckily on Saturday I got in there.