Craig Cathcart is optimistic about Northern Ireland's playoff chances after the Watford defender saw his nation fail to qualify for Euro 2020.

Cathcart was involved as his nation's hopes of qualifying automatically for the tournament ended with a 0-0 draw against the Netherlands in Belfast on Saturday evening.

Captain Steven Davis fired a first-half penalty over the bar in what could turn out to be manager Michael O'Neill's final home game in charge, as they slipped to third place in their qualification group.

However, Northern Ireland can still progress to next summer's tournament through the play-offs and after the game Cathcart told the Watford website he is confident they can still feature at the competition finals next summer.

“We feel a bit unlucky not to come away with a win on the night," he said.

"If the penalty went in who knows how the game would have gone. It shows how far we’ve come as a team, pushing the likes of Holland and Germany all the way in the games and feeling a bit disappointed not to come away with a win.

“It leaves us in a playoff position and we are full of confidence knowing we can compete against the top nations, who will ultimately be going to the tournament thinking they can win it.”