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We must be absolutely ruthless in the Faroes: McAuley

By Steven Beacom

Gareth McAuley insists a ruthless attitude from Northern Ireland in the Faroe Islands on Friday can move Michael O'Neill's side a huge step closer to the Euro 2016 finals.

Now at the business end of the qualifying campaign, a victory over the Faroes could take Northern Ireland top of Group F with just three games left.

The West Brom defender said: "At my club, the gaffer Tony Pulis tells us to be ruthless in both boxes and that is important in international football. We must do that against the Faroes.

"We've put ourselves in a good position to qualify and I'd love to be in the squad to do it, for selfish and personal reasons like having my wife and children see me play at a major tournament.

"Looking at the bigger picture, it would also be incredible for our fans and the entire country. Friday could be a huge step for us."

While there was much focus on the transfer window closing yesterday, Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty remains a Norwich City player despite interest from Greek club AEK Athens.

Lafferty, though, could still go out on loan when he returns to Carrow Road after international duty.

Lafferty and McAuley scored against the Faroes in a 2-0 win at Windsor earlier in the campaign. O'Neill is working on set-pieces to maximise the chances of the pair repeating the feat on Friday.

Belfast Telegraph