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Euro 2016: Time for talking almost over, says O'Neill as Northern Ireland players arrive in Lyon

Northern Ireland manager admits team determined to make fans proud as countdown to Euro opener begins

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 06/06/2016

Northern Ireland's Chris Baird and Oliver Norwood pictured during their first press conference in the Media Centre in France ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Poland on Sunday.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Chris Baird and Oliver Norwood pictured during their first press conference in the Media Centre in France ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Poland on Sunday. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Oliver Norwood pictured during his press conference in the Media Centre in France ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Poland on Sunday. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Chris Baird pictured during his press conference in the Media Centre in France ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Poland on Sunday. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's players run during a training session at their training ground in Saint George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's captain Steven Davis (L) and coach Michael O'Neill (L) attend a training session while water spray at their training ground in Saint George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's captain Steven Davis (L) and coach Michael O'Neill (L) attend a training session while water spray at their training ground in Saint George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's forward Kyle Lafferty plays with the ball during a training session at their training ground in Saint-Georges-de-Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's forward Kyle Lafferty plays with the ball during a training session at their training ground in Saint-Georges-de-Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's defender Luke McCullough plays with the ball during a training session at their training ground in Saint-Georges-de-Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's main coach Michael O'Neill (C) and players attend a training session while water spray at their training ground in Saint George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's main coach Michael O'Neill (2ndR) and players attend a training session while water spray at their training ground in Saint George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's main coach Michael O'Neill (2ndR) and players attend a training session while water spray at their training ground in Saint George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's players run during a training session at their training ground in Saint George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's goalkeepers Roy Carroll (L) and Alan Mannus (C) run next to coach Maik Taylor (R) during a training session at their training ground in Saint-George-de-Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's defender Luke McCullough (L) vies with Northern Ireland's midfielder Oliver Norwood (R) during a training session at their training ground in Saint-George-de-Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's players attend a training session at their training ground in Saint-George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's players attend a training session at their training ground in Saint-George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's players attend a training session at their training ground in Saint-George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's main coach Michael O'Neill (2ndR) and players attend a training session while water spray at their training ground in Saint George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland players pictured as they arrive at their team hotel at the start of their Euro 2016 adventure. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas, Jamie Ward and Kyle Lafferty pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland players pictured as they arrive at their team hotel at the start of their Euro 2016 adventure. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland players pictured as they arrive at their team hotel at the start of their Euro 2016 adventure. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland players pictured as they arrive at their team hotel at the start of their Euro 2016 adventure. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Lee Hodson and Conor Washington pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty, Josh Magennis, Gareth McAuley and Craig Cathcart pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty, Josh Magennis, Gareth McAuley and Craig Cathcart pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Conor Washington and Shane Ferguson pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland coach pictured as the players step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland Manager Michael O'Neill pictured as he stepped off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill pictured as he stepped off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's David Currie pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland players and staff pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland players pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Alan Mannus pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Roy Carroll and Alan Mannus pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill and IFA President Jim Shaw pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill and IFA President Jim Shaw pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Kyle Lafferty, Paddy McNair, Gareth McAuley, Michael McGovern, Craig Cathcart, Jonny Evans, Shane Ferguson, Oliver Norwood, Steven Davis, Jamie Ward, Chris Baird. Credit: Rafal Rusek / PressFocus
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Aaron Hughes fans than you Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
Northern Ireland's Patrick McNair (right) and Slovakia's Dusan Svento battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty exchanges words with Slovakia's Martin Skrtel during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland fans in the stands during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland's Chris Baird during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Slovakia's Martin Skrtel (right) and Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty shake hands during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty is spoken to by referee Radu Petrescu during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Slovakia's Martin Skrtel (rear) and Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Slovakia's Martin Skrtel (right) and Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Slovakia's Jan Durica (left) and Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes heads on goal during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Slovakia's Patrik Hrosovsky (right) and Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland fans in the stands during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
DUBLIN, OH - JUNE 04: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Keegan Bradley walk down the fairway on the first hole during the third round of The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 4, 2016 in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty receives treatment during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland's Conor Washington (right) and Slovakia's Patrik Hrosovsky battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes (right) and Slovakia's Martin Skrtel battle for the ball in the air during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Slovakia's Vladimir Weiss (L) and Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty (R) vie for a ball during the a UEFA EURO 2016 friendly football match between Slovakia and Northern Ireland in Trnava, on June 4, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / VLADIMIR SIMICEKVLADIMIR SIMICEK/AFP/Getty Images
Slovakia's Martin Skrtel and Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley and Northern Ireland's Chris Baird (R) vie for a ball during the a UEFA EURO 2016 friendly football match between Slovakia and Northern Ireland in Trnava, on June 4, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / VLADIMIR SIMICEKVLADIMIR SIMICEK/AFP/Getty Images
Norhern Ireland's goalkeeper Michael McGovern (L) and Slovakia's Michal Duris and Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley vie for a ball during the a UEFA EURO 2016 friendly football match between Slovakia and Northern Ireland in Trnava, on June 4, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / VLADIMIR SIMICEKVLADIMIR SIMICEK/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's Conor Washington (left) and Slovakia's Martin Skrtel battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland's Oliver Norwood (left) and Slovakia's Ondrej Duda battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Norhern Ireland's goalkeeper Michael McGovern (L) and Slovakia's Michal Duris and Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley vie for a ball during the a UEFA EURO 2016 friendly football match between Slovakia and Northern Ireland in Trnava, on June 4, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / VLADIMIR SIMICEKVLADIMIR SIMICEK/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's Conor Washington reacts after a challenge on Slovakia's Martin Skrtel during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland's Conor Washington (left) and Slovakia's Martin Skrtel battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Saturdays International Friendly against Slovakia at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Patrik Hrosovsky with Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Martin Skrtel with Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Northern Ireland fans during Saturday's International Friendly against Slovakia at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland fans during Saturdays International Friendly against Slovakia at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland fans during Saturdays International Friendly against Slovakia at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Northern Ireland fan Kate Turner before Saturdays International Friendly against Slovakia at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Saturdays International Friendly against Slovakia at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Saturdays International Friendly against Slovakia at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Saturdays International Friendly against Slovakia at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty appeals for a penalty during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/06/2016 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Jamie Ward, Jan Durica Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/06/2016 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Michael Oneill Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/06/2016 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Michael Oneill Credit: Rafal Rusek / PressFocus
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/06/2016 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Gareth McAuley, Dusan Svento Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/06/2016 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Jamie Ward, Jan Durica Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/06/2016 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Paddy McNair, Dusan Svento Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/06/2016 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Craig Cathcart, Marek Hamsik Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER
2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Michael Oneill Credit: Rafal Rusek /PACEMAKER
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Jan Durica with Northern Ireland's Steven Davis during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty appeals for a penalty during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Steven Davis during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Dusan Svento with Northern Ireland's Steven Davis during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Paddy McNair Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Steven Davis, Juraj Kucka Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Kyle Lafferty kontuzja Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Kyle Lafferty kontuzja Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Kyle Lafferty kontuzja Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Jonny Evans, Michal Duris, Chris Baird Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Gareth McAuley, Michal Duris Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Aaron Hughes zmiana Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Aaron Hughes zmiana Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Craig Cathcart, Gareth McAuley, Martin Skrtel Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Jonny Evans, Michal Duris, Chris Baird Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Aaron Hughes zmiana Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Aaron Hughes Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Vladimir Weiss, Aaron Hughes Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Vladimir Weiss, Aaron Hughes Credit: Rafal Rusek /PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Vladimir Weiss, Aaron Hughes Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Michael McGovern, Michal Duris Credit: Rafal Rusek / PPACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Aaron Hughes Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Shane Ferguson, Juraj Kucka Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Aaron Hughes Credit: Rafal Rusek /PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Michal Duris, Aaron Hughes Credit: Rafal Rusek /PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Michal Duris, Aaron Hughes Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Shane Ferguson, Juraj Kucka Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Shane Ferguson, Juraj Kucka Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Michal Duris, Aaron Hughes Credit: Rafal Rusek /PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Kyle Lafferty, Paddy McNair, Gareth McAuley, Michael McGovern, Craig Cathcart, Jonny Evans, Shane Ferguson, Oliver Norwood, Steven Davis, Jamie Ward, Chris Baird grupowka, group Credit: Rafal Rusek / PressFocus
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Martin Skrtel with Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Martin Skrtel with Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Martin Skrtel with Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Vladimr Weiss with Northern Ireland's Oliver Norwood during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes gets his 100th cap against Slovakia during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Dusan Svento with Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Vladimr Weiss with Northern Ireland's Oliver Norwood during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes gets his 100th cap against Slovakia during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Jan Durica with Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Patrik Hrosovsky with Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Saturdays International Friendly against Slovakia at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.

Northern Ireland's footballers jetted into France yesterday, with Michael O'Neill vowing they are ready to leave their mark on Euro 2016.

A welcome party was on hand to meet the squad after they touched down at Lyon Saint Exupery Airport shortly before 4.30pm.

The players and manager were greeted by the local mayor and Uefa delegates before being whisked off to their training base. The team's arrival marks the start of the final countdown to the Euros.

Northern Ireland kick off against Poland in Nice on Sunday in what will be their first match at a major tournament for 30 years.

Speaking on the runway moments after stepping off the plane, O'Neill admitted anticipation was building for everyone.

"There is a sense of excitement for all of us. This is a new experience for myself and for all of the players," he said.

More than 40,000 fans are expected to arrive in France over the coming days.

Flights have been booked for months, the scramble for tickets is over, and soon the Green and White Army will be on the march.

O'Neill added: "We're going to bring thousands of supporters out here, we're delighted to be here.

"It's a fantastic achievement to be out here, but having achieved that we want to leave our mark on the tournament.

"The main thing is that it's a positive experience and an enjoyable experience for everyone, and we'll only do that if we continue playing the way we have done recently.

"We've come here in a good state - 12 games unbeaten - and we want to make sure we try and extend that once the tournament starts." Some 241 days have passed from the glorious night when Northern Ireland beat Greece to secure qualification.

Since then the hype has steadily grown, but yesterday was the day it finally seemed real as the players set foot in France.

The team had flown out of Belfast last Monday and spent most of last week at a training camp in Austria.

It was then on to Slovakia, where they drew 0-0 in their final warm-up game on Saturday night.

The players were smartly dressed in their official tournament suits as they arrived at Bratislava Airport yesterday afternoon. Among the group was Stuart Dallas, who had arrived back that morning after a flying visit home to Cookstown to get married.

The chartered flight out of the Slovakian capital was delayed by almost an hour after a thunderstorm hit the area.

But after a 30-year wait for a major tournament, an extra 60 minutes wasn't going to worry anyone.

The stormy weather had given way to warm sunshine as the plane touched down in Lyon around 90 minutes later.

The flight attendants delivered a good luck message over the PA system before the players disembarked. As they stepped on to the runway they were greeted by the Mayor of Saint Georges de Reneins, the town where they are based, and Uefa delegates.

The official coach, emblazoned with the Northern Ireland flag and the Dare To Dream hashtag, was waiting to whisk them away, flanked by police outriders.

The first wave of fans are expected tomorrow on board a flight from Belfast to Nice.

Defender Jonny Evans is predicting a special atmosphere.

"It's going to be fantastic - everyone you speak to is trying to get out here," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"We know as a country we are going to be represented really well. We've got some unbelievable supporters - fans who travel all around Europe.

"They always have a great reputation wherever they go and they are always well received.

"That is something they have got to be proud of, and as players we are really proud of them as well."

Evans said arriving in France has made the dream finally seem real. "It's still a wee bit surreal but once we get to our base I think that's when it will hit us just how big this is," he added.

"It's something we've been looking forward to - we can't wait to get here and get settled.

"It is about being able to unpack our suitcases and get stuck in for however long we are here - hopefully longer than we are booked in for."

Belfast Telegraph

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