It hasn’t taken him long to learn that there has been a major turnaround in the country’s footballing fortunes in comparison to just a few years ago.
And after Friday night’s goalless draw with Italy left Nigel Worthingtons’ team with mixed emotions — many believing that it was a game they could and possibly should have won — the flying Celtic winger has his sights on a magnificent seven.
Victory over the Faroe Islands in Toftir tomorrow would put Northern Ireland on seven points from three games in the Euro 2012 qualifiers and with Italy top of the group, three points ahead with a game more played, that would be seen as a fantastic start to the campaign before a five month break in proceedings.
“With four points from two games it’s a good start,” said McGinn, who came off the bench against the Italians, having missed last month’s win in Slovenia through injury.
“Hopefully we can go on Tuesday and get three points and that’ll be seven from three games which would be a good position to be in.”
Amazingly there was disappointment in the air after failing to score against Italy — and to think that before the victory in Slovenia the team had gone seven games without a goal and 10 without a win.
And prior to the famous wins against England and Spain, five and four years ago respectively, the best Northern Ireland could hope for in most battles with the big boys was a draw.
Now Windsor Park is a fortress again, McGinn senses a whole new unquenchable spirit in the Northern Ireland team.
“A few boys had heads down because they were disappointed, but a point against Italy is unbelievable,” said McGinn.
“We could have played a bit better, but on the night I think coming away with a point against Italy is positive.
“A few years ago we’d have been coming away thinking we’d be happy with a good performance.
“Now over the last few years we expect to be picking up points no matter who we are playing, especially at home, and that’s a good way to be.”