Defiant George McCartney is confident Northern Ireland can kick start their World Cup qualifying campaign with victory over the mighty Czech Republic on Wednesday night — despite Saturday night’s dismal 2-1 defeat to Slovakia in balmy Bratislava.
Northern Ireland crashed to their fourth consecutive opening campaign defeat and their World Cup qualifying hopes suffered a serious dent.
McCartney though believes Northern Ireland can once again bounce back from the defeat and record a stunning win over one of the top rated sides in Europe.
Sunderland’s new left back wasn’t involved in the big Euro 2008 wins over Spain and Sweden at Windsor Park, so would dearly love to experience a huge upset at the famous stadium.
“We have been here before and it’s disappointing because we are all trying to hard to improve our away form,” admits McCartney.
“It’s the same scenario as usual — we go away from home and don’t pick up any points. We’ve got to improve our away form sometime and come Wednesday night it’s now so important that we get something from the Czech Republic. A win would be great.
“Against the Czech Republic we’ll be looking for the three points.”
One area Northern Ireland will need to crack down on if they are to record a stunning victory over the Czechs is their discipline.
Boss Nigel Worthington was furious with his men for challenging a hand ball decision in the box that wasn’t given and then because of a lack of concentration, Slovakia were allowed to score their second goal.
McCartney is in total agreement with his manager.
He says: “We spoke about it straight after the match and agreed we should have just got on with the game instead of trying to chase the referee.”