Belfast Telegraph

Boys are buzzing and we plan to keep winning: Ward

By Matt Gault

Northern Ireland striker Jamie Ward says it's crucial to maintain the momentum gained by their recent results ahead of next summer's Euro 2016 tournament. 

Michael O'Neill's men ended an eight-year friendly hoodoo on Friday night when they beat Latvia 1-0 at Windsor Park, with captain Steven Davis delivering again.

Ward, who enjoyed playing up top alongside Kyle Lafferty in a new-look 3-5-2 formation, feels it's important to treat friendlies as a way of building confidence leading up to the finals in France.

"I think we're eight unbeaten now so it's important to keep that going and maintain the momentum the best we can," said Ward.

The Nottingham Forest striker also sees the confidence flowing through this current crop of Northern Ireland players, underlined by their dominance in possession against Latvia.

He added: "We were really comfortable on the ball and I think we have some great players, some under-rated players and we're now really beginning to prove a point on the international stage."

Ward also spoke of the well-documented togetherness and camaraderie in the squad, which he believes has shown itself out on the pitch as the players have started to express themselves.

"We always have a great laugh, when we're in hotels, always joking and messing about, so it's important to have that togetherness," he added. "We're at that stage that allows us to go out and actually enjoy our football, we're buzzing. There are also expectations on us now, but the pressure is always good."

Belfast Telegraph