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Northern Ireland can shock the world in Germany: Kyle Lafferty

By Steven Beacom

Published 10/10/2016

At the double: Kyle Lafferty scored twice against San Marino but doesn’t know if it will be enough to earn him a starting role against Germany tomorrow night
At the double: Kyle Lafferty scored twice against San Marino but doesn’t know if it will be enough to earn him a starting role against Germany tomorrow night

Northern Ireland hero Kyle Lafferty has insisted that Michael O'Neill's men can upset the odds against World champions Germany in Hannover tomorrow night.

Joachim Low's men are hot favourites to make it three wins out of three in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, but fresh from coming on as a substitute and scoring twice in a 4-0 victory over San Marino on Saturday night, Lafferty is feeling positive about pulling off a shock result.

Northern Ireland's Steve Davis scores a penalty during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland's Steve Davis scores a penalty during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas and San Marinos Aldo Simoncini during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas can't beleived he missed an open net during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's fans enjoy the half-time entertainment during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's fans enjoy the half-time entertainment during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's Conor Washington gets a shot away during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward and San Marinos Matteo Vitaioli during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's Conor Washington and looks to the heavens after missing a chance during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Golfer Rory McIlroy shares a joke with NI Football legend Harry Gregg pictured at the National Football Stadium Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C Northern Ireland Manager Michael O'Neill during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Golfer Rory McIlroy with FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and Marco Van Basten at the National Football Stadium Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C Northern Ireland Manager Michael O'Neill speaks to Oliver Norwood during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C San Marinos Mirko Paiazzi is sent off during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 08th October 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Steven Davis scoring a penalty against San Marino during Saturday nights World Cup 2018 Qualifier at the National Stadium at Windsor Park.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C San Marinos Mirko Paiazzi is sent off during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier First Minister Arlene Foster and Communities Minister Paul Givan celebrate the first goal at the game. Photo by William Cherry / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 08th October 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Steven Davis celebrates scoring against San Marino during Saturday nights World Cup 2018 Qualifier at the National Stadium at Windsor Park.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 08th October 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Steven Davis celebrates scoring against San Marino during Saturday nights World Cup 2018 Qualifier at the National Stadium at Windsor Park.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 08th October 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Steven Davis scoring a penalty against San Marino during Saturday nights World Cup 2018 Qualifier at the National Stadium at Windsor Park.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 08th October 2016 - Photo by William Cherry To mark the official opening of the National Stadium at Windsor Park, some famous Northern Ireland faces from sport, tv and music to do a lap of the pitch before Northern Ireland took on San Marino in the World Cup 2018 Qualifier. Pictured with the fans is Denis Taylor
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 08th October 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Steven Davis celebrates scoring against San Marino during Saturday nights World Cup 2018 Qualifier at the National Stadium at Windsor Park.
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Northern Ireland's Conor McLauglin and San Marino's Mirko Palazzi in action during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier and opening game at the newly developed National Stadium - Windsor Park on 8th October 2016 , Belfast , Northern Ireland Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye San Marino's Mirko Palazzi sent off in action during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier and opening game at the newly developed National Stadium - Windsor Park on 8th October 2016 , Belfast , Northern Ireland Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C Northern Ireland’s Gareth McCauley and San Marino’s Mattia Stefanelli during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C Northern Ireland’s Conor McLaughlin and Oliver Norwood with Luca Tosi of San Marino during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C Northern Ireland’s Stuart Dallas and San Marino’s Matteo Vitaioli during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C Northern Ireland’s Stuart Dallas and San Marino’s Matteo Vitaioli during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C Northern Ireland’s Jamie Ward and Alessandro Della Valle of San Marino during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's Conor Washington and San Marinos Alessandro Della Valle during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward scores during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward celebrates his goal during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty scores in action during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier and opening game at the newly developed National Stadium - Windsor Park on 8th October 2016 , Belfast , Northern Ireland Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty scores in action during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier and opening game at the newly developed National Stadium - Windsor Park on 8th October 2016 , Belfast , Northern Ireland Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Selfie time for Actor James Nesbitt, Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody and Dame Mary Peters attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye

Should Northern Ireland stun the football world and win they would jump above the Germans in the group table, though evena draw would be considered a mighty triumph.

Lafferty believes if O'Neill's players are at their very best anything is possible.

"If we go out and give a proper competitive performance we have a chance of upsetting them," claimed the Fermanagh man.

"We aren't going to go out there and walk around the pitch and expect to lose the game. It's an exciting game for us to go out and play against some of the best players in the world and probably the best team in the world over the last three or four years."

While the Germans have looked superb in beating both Norway and the Czech Republic 3-0 in their opening group games, Northern Ireland can be content with their start as well having drawn 0-0 away to the Czechs and hammered San Marino in Belfast.

Germany are expected to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia as group winners, and Lafferty has faith that Northern Ireland will be there too, with the most likely route through the play-offs after finishing second in the table.

The 29-year-old says there is a burning desire amongst his team-mates to become the first Northern Ireland squad to qualify back to back for a Euro finals and the World Cup.

"It's going to be a hard campaign for us and we will come up against some very good teams, but we're confident that we can qualify, be that in first place or through the play-offs," said the Norwich striker.

"There is a good buzz around Northern Ireland and we are sitting in a good place. We want to keep progressing and we don't want to just stop at qualifying for the Euros. We want to get to the World Cup as well and be the first Northern Ireland team to do the double."

Thanks to his late brace against San Marino, Lafferty now has 19 international goals.

After the match he joked that he would need to play until he was 40 to overtake record goalscorer David Healy, who netted 36 times at the highest level, but, on a serious note, with 53 caps he has an impressive strike rate for Northern Ireland.

Whether his super-sub show earns him a starting spot against the Germans remains to be seen.

"I don't know if I'll start. If the same thing happens in Germany and I come off the bench and score twice I wouldn't mind," he said with a hearty laugh.

"I don't know what Michael is thinking. If he thinks it would be better for me to start and play an hour I'll be happy, but if not and I'm on the bench I'll respect the decision."

With little game time for Norwich this season, and at the moment not seen as the first choice forward for Northern Ireland, Lafferty revealed that this has been the toughest time of a career littered with difficult periods.

"I want to play as many games for Northern Ireland as I can, and not starting I'm always going to be disappointed, but it's not all about me," stated the former Rangers ace, whose pal Josh Magennis was selected to lead the line against San Marino.

"Unlike me there are Northern Ireland strikers playing club football and if I was in their shoes I'd be asking questions if I wasn't starting."

The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Pat Jennings & Mary Peters pictured
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Pat Jennings & Mary Peters pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Pat Jennings at the official opening of the Northern Ireland National Stadium. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Pat Jennings and Michael Boyd pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye James Nesbitt Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's /ni and San Marinos /sm during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's /ni and San Marinos /sm during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's /ni and San Marinos /sm during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye James Nesbitt Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Carl Frampton with his daughter Carla Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Carl Frampton pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Carl Frampton pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Carl Frampton pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Carl Frampton pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with Gerry Mallon from the Irish FA watches Northern Ireland vs San Marino Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Charlie Lawson pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Sammy McIlroy pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with Gerry Mallon from the Irish FA watches Northern Ireland vs San Marino Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with Gerry Mallon from the Irish FA watches Northern Ireland vs San Marino Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with Gerry Mallon from the Irish FA watches Northern Ireland vs San Marino Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Goal keeping Legends Harry Gregg and Pat Jennings attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Northern Ireland football stars Pat Jennings and Harry Gregg help Jay and Ellie cut the ribbon to official open the new stadium for the fans. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Northern Ireland football stars Pat Jennings and Harry Gregg help Jay and Ellie cut the ribbon to official open the new stadium for the fans. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Goal keeping Legends Harry Gregg and Pat Jennings attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Actor Jimmy Nesbitt attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 8th October FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier - Northern Ireland Vs San Marino at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast Northern Ireland's fans. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Eamonn Holmes pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Gary Lightbody Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Gary Lightbody Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Eamonn Holmes Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Gary Lightbody Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye James Nesbitt Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye James Nesbitt Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Carl Frampton with his daughter Carla Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Carl Frampton with his daughter Carla Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Carl Frampton with his daughter Carla Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's /ni and San Marinos /sm during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's /ni and San Marinos /sm during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's /ni and San Marinos /sm during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Gerry Armstrong pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Jim Nesbitt pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Pat Jennings and Michael Boyd pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier General view of fans Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Carl Frampton pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Gerry Armstrong pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Carl Frampton pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
8 October 2016 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Challenge Cup: Stena Line Belfast Giants v Braehead Clan at the SSE Arena Belfast. Belfast Giant Chris Higgins scores against Braehead during Saturday nights Challenge Cup game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening with a lap of former Northern Ireland legends. Jimmy Nesbitt pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening with a lap of former Northern Ireland legends. Jimmy Nesbitt pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Pat Jennings pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Pat Jennings & Mary Peters pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening with a lap of former Northern Ireland legends. Jimmy Nesbitt pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening with a lap of former Northern Ireland legends. Jimmy Nesbitt pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier FIFA President, Gianni Infantino at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier General view of the plaque at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Communities Minister Paul Givan is pictured with FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and Irish FA President, David Martin at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fan Anne Cullen from Donaghmore attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fans Joshua (7) and Caleb Crooks (6) from Coagh attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fans Alastair, scott and Alexandra Carnwath from Antrin attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fans Matthew Denny,David Irwin,Matthew Irwin and Rachel Walker attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fan Louise Beacom from Omagh attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fans Stephen and Sarah Cameron from Antrim attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fan Aaron Crawford from Londonderry attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fans Mark Alexander ans eight year old Adam from Armagh attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fans Joshua (7) and Caleb Crooks (6) from Coagh attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fans Alastair, scott and Alexandra Carnwath from Antrin attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness are pictured with FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and Irish FA President, David Martin at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fan Anne Cullen from Donaghmore attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fans Matthew Denny,David Irwin,Matthew Irwin and Rachel Walker attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness are pictured with Communities Minister Paul Givan, Marco Van Basten, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and Irish FA President, David Martin before the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 8th October FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier - Northern Ireland Vs San Marino at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast Northern Ireland's in the new kopstand Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 8th October FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier - Northern Ireland Vs San Marino at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast Northern Ireland's fans(left to right) Richard Kennedy, John Clarke, Joesph Rea(6) and Laura Clarke from Comber Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 8th October FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier - Northern Ireland Vs San Marino at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast Northern Ireland's fans. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Jimmy Nesbitt pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Jimmy Nesbitt pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Eamonn Holmes pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Gary McAllister pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 8th October FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier - Northern Ireland Vs San Marino at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast Northern Ireland fan and presenter Colin Murray Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier First Minister Arlene Foster, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Irish FA President, David Martin and FIFA President, Gianni Infantino pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Actor Charlie Lawson pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Actor Charlie Lawson pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Actor Charlie Lawson pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Actor Charlie Lawson pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Actor Charlie Lawson pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Actor Charlie Lawson pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Actor Charlie Lawson pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye World Champion Boxer Carl Frampton attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Golfer Rory McIIroy attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland team The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Actor Jimmy Nesbitt attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Goal keeping Legends Harry Gregg and Pat Jennings attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C Northern Ireland’s Jonny Evans and San Marino’s Matteo Coppini during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Fans enjoy the match. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Jimmy Nesbitt. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Fans enjoy the match. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Northern Ireland football stars Pat Jennings and Harry Gregg help Jay and Ellie cut the ribbon to official open the new stadium for the fans. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Carl Frampton along with Gerry Armstrong. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Fans enjoy the match. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Fans enjoy the match. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Charlie Lawson. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Jimmy Nesbitt. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Jimmy Nesbitt. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Lafferty, who plans to leave Norwich in January for some first team action, added that the reception he received from the Windsor Park faithful when coming off the bench at the weekend meant a great deal.

He said: "The fans have been brilliant. Obviously I helped the team qualify for the Euros and I think they appreciate me and respect me for that."

Belfast Telegraph

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