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Michael O’Neill wants Northern Ireland to follow Scotland’s path to improvement

Michael O’Neill believes Scotland are “very much the bar” for his Northern Ireland side as he recounted the development of Steve Clarke’s squad.

O’Neill rejected the chance to become boss of the Scottish national side in 2018 but the former Hibernian and Dundee United midfielder, who lives in Scotland, kept an eye on emerging talent in dark blue.

Ahead of the friendly against Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday night, O’Neill talked around a question of him being linked with the vacant managerial post at Aberdeen but discussed the opposition who are going to the Euros this summer with more precision.

“I was always aware that Scotland was a team that was going to grow,” said O’Neill.

“They have had consistent form for a number of years. They are very much the bar for us.

“I saw a lot of these players play through the early phases of their careers. It is something I spoke to the players about.

“For example, I remember seeing Stuart Armstrong play for Dundee

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