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Josh Magennis: This result can't take away from amazing year for Northern Ireland

By Paul Ferguson

Published 16/11/2016

Hold up: Josh Magennis shields possession from Marin Leovac
Hold up: Josh Magennis shields possession from Marin Leovac

Upbeat Josh Magennis admitted manager Michael O'Neill told his players that they must not allow last night's 3-0 defeat to Croatia to deflect from what has been an incredible 2016 for Northern Ireland.

In a year when Northern Ireland created history by reaching the knock-out stages of Euro 2016 and are now sitting pretty in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers - second in Group C - Magennis admitted this friendly result will be quickly forgotten about.

O'Neill made six changes from the side that hammered Azerbaijan 4-0 last Friday, giving his fringe players some much needed international game-time.

Croatia did something similar with five big name players missing - but obviously have more quality in reserve and a bigger pool of players to choose from.

This was not lost on Magennis who said the players were determined to end 2016 on a huge high, but it was more important to make sure certain players in the Northern Ireland squad received caps.

Magennis conceded: "Michael in the dressing room afterwards just told us to forget about the game quickly and that the result can't take away from our amazing year, how memorable it was and how much we all came together as a team.

"The most important game for us was the Azerbaijan match last Friday - we won that, we are second in the group and now we move on to 2017.

"So it's really has been fantastic year for us - it would have been nice to get the win to cap off the year but we knew it was always going to be a difficult task with the amount of changes we had in our team.

"They were very good. They have a lot of technically gifted players especially Mario Mandzukic who plays through the middle. He was just one of a number of players who were excellent. But we want to be playing against this standard of opposition - it's a pity we weren't able to nullify their threat.

"To play against that standard is still a big learning curve for us, I'm sure when the dust settles we will use this footage to go over and use some of it going into next year and make sure we don't make certain mistakes."

Northern Ireland fans and players pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France Photo by Stephen Hamilton/ Press Eye
Northern Ireland fans and players pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France Photo by Stephen Hamilton/ Press Eye
Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France. Photographer - ©Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event First Minister Arlene Foster and Communities Minister Paul Givan pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team willÊare on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in FranceÊ Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Nortehrn Ireland fans and players pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France . Photo by Stephen Hamilton/ Press Eye
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Nortehrn Ireland fans and players pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France . Photo by Stephen Hamilton/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France. Photographer - ©Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France. Photographer - ©Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France. Photographer - ©Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Nortehrn Ireland fans and players pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France . Photo by Stephen Hamilton/ Press Eye
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Northern Ireland football Manager Michael O'Neill pictured at the Fan Zone. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Nortehrn Ireland fans and players pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France . Photo by Stephen Hamilton/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Northern Ireland football Manager Michael O'Neill pictured at the Fan Zone. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Nortehrn Ireland fans and players pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France . Photo by Stephen Hamilton/ Press Eye
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Northern Ireland football Manager Michael O'Neill pictured at the Fan Zone. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event First Minister Arlene Foster and Communities Minister Paul Givan pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team willÊare on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in FranceÊ Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Nortehrn Ireland fans and players pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France . Photo by Stephen Hamilton/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Nortehrn Ireland fans and players pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France . Photo by Stephen Hamilton/ Press Eye
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Nortehrn Ireland fans and players pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France . Photo by Stephen Hamilton/ Press Eye
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Northern Ireland football Manager Michael O'Neill pictured at the Fan Zone. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Nortehrn Ireland fans and players pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France . Photo by Stephen Hamilton/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Michael O'Neill pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France. Photographer - ©Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Michael O'Neill pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France. Photographer - ©Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Michael O'Neill pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France. Photographer - ©Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Michael O'Neill pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will be on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France. Photographer - ©Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast, UK - February 27 2016. Michael O'neill is tossed in the air as the Northern Ireland team arrive home to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast where a crowd of up to 10,000 people welcomed the team at the fanzone. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast, UK - February 27 2016. Michael O'neill is tossed in the air as the Northern Ireland team arrive home to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast where a crowd of up to 10,000 people welcomed the team at the fanzone. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast, UK - February 27 2016. Michael O'neill is tossed in the air as the Northern Ireland team arrive home to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast where a crowd of up to 10,000 people welcomed the team at the fanzone. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-06-2016: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland's football team come home to heroes' welcome. Thousands of Northern Ireland supporters pictured at the Fanzone in Titanic Belfast. The homecoming event is being hosted by the Department of Communities, Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Northern Ireland fans at the Titanic Fanzone stage ahead the Northern Ireland team homecoming to Belfast from the 2016 Euro Championship in France. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 27, 2016. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Northern Ireland fans at the Titanic Fanzone stage ahead the Northern Ireland team homecoming to Belfast from the 2016 Euro Championship in France. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 27, 2016. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Members of the 1st Finaghy Northern Ireland Supporters Club carrying the clubs bass drum at the Titanic Fanzone stage ahead the Northern Ireland team homecoming to Belfast from the 2016 Euro Championship in France. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 27, 2016. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Football fans pictured at the homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 Northern Ireland football team Homecoming Event Football fans pictured at the Homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team at the Fan Zone in Titanic Quarter where the team will are on stage to share their experiences of Euro2016 in France  Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Northern Ireland fans Ethan Bothwell, Mackenzie Alexander, Granny Julie McCrory, Brooke Bothwell, Darla McCrory at the Titanic Fanzone stage ahead the Northern Ireland team homecoming to Belfast from the 2016 Euro Championship in France. Pic Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Northern Ireland fans at the Titanic Fanzone stage ahead the Northern Ireland team homecoming to Belfast from the 2016 Euro Championship in France. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 27, 2016. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Northern Ireland fan Brian White at the Titanic Fanzone stage ahead the Northern Ireland team homecoming to Belfast from the 2016 Euro Championship in France. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 27, 2016. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Northern Ireland fans at the Titanic Fanzone stage ahead the Northern Ireland team homecoming to Belfast from the 2016 Euro Championship in France. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 27, 2016. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Northern Ireland fans Angela Barnes (left) with her sister Georgie at the Titanic Fanzone stage ahead the Northern Ireland team homecoming to Belfast from the 2016 Euro Championship in France. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 27, 2016. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Northern Ireland fans Nicola Clyde with her daughter Joni and son Matthew at the Titanic Fanzone stage ahead the Northern Ireland team homecoming to Belfast from the 2016 Euro Championship in France. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 27, 2016. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Northern Ireland fans Mellissa Telford and Matthew Wright at the Titanic Fanzone stage ahead the Northern Ireland team homecoming to Belfast from the 2016 Euro Championship in France. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 27, 2016. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Culloden Hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by Matt Mackey
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by Matt Mackey Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Culloden Hotel Gareth McAuley
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by Matt Mackey Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Culloden Hotel
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by Matt Mackey Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Culloden Hotel Manager Michael O'Neill
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by Matt Mackey Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Culloden Hotel
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by Matt Mackey Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Culloden Hotel Will Grigg
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by Matt Mackey Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Culloden Hotel
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by Matt Mackey Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Culloden Hotel Oliver Norwood
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by Matt Mackey Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Culloden Hotel
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by Matt Mackey Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Culloden Hotel Kyle Lafferty
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by Matt Mackey Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Culloden Hotel Jonny Evans
Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Manager Michael O'Neill exits the plane. Press Eye William Cherry
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Kyle Lafferty
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Stuart Dallas, Captain Steven Davis and Jimmy Nicholl Assistant Manager
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Kyle Lafferty
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Oliver Norwood
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Captain Steven Davis.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Josh Magennis.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Josh Magennis.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Conor Washington
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Paddy McNair
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Gareth McAuley and Craig Cathcart
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Corry Evans and Jonny Evans
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Manager Michael O'Neill
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Kyle Lafferty
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Conor Washington
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Paddy McNair
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Josh Magennis.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Oliver Norwood
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Captain Steven Davis.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Kyle Lafferty
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Stuart Dallas, Captain Steven Davis and Jimmy Nicholl Assistant Manager
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Corry Evans and Jonny Evans
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland team arrive home after a successful Euro 2016 tournament in France, Belfast International Airport. Gareth McAuley and Craig Cathcart

Magennis, who has enjoyed a big breakthrough in 2016 as he has started all four World Cup qualifiers and played his part from the bench at the Euros, knows how important it is for squad players to receive some international minutes. Last night he won his 27th cap.

Just a few years ago he was that player - travelling around the world hoping he could get a few minutes for Northern Ireland.

"It was a worthwhile exercise because there are a lot of the players in the squad do a lot behind the scenes in training and help us prepare," says Magennis, who once again played on the right against Croatia, just off the striker.

"They maybe come away for 10 days and don't see much action. I know what it is like because I was that player a few years ago. These games where you get a start are so important to the players because you itch for a game like this if you are sitting on the bench or coming off the bench. It's a massive thing playing for your country.

"I'm just so grateful to Michael O'Neill for giving me a chance in 2016 and I try to take that opportunity every time I go on the pitch for Northern Ireland. We played hard but it's just a pity we weren't able to get the win tonight."

Magennis will now return to club Charlton, who yesterday sacked their manager Russell Slade.

It came as a shock to the 26-year-old, who was signed by Slade.

He admitted: "I've been away with Northern Ireland so haven't really been aware of what is going on back at the club.

"In terms of who it is coming in I'm not too sure. But the important thing for me at Charlton is, my attitude will never change and I will always give 100 per cent whoever the manager is."

Belfast Telegraph

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