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Sammy McIlroy believes Northern Ireland can perform more heroics

By Graham Luney

Sammy McIlroy says Northern Ireland have "nothing to fear" ahead of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, which start on Sunday.

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Michael O'Neill's men face a tough opener against Czech Republic in Prague but McIlroy, who captained the last Northern Ireland side to make it to a World Cup finals in 1986, is confident the Euro 2016 heroes can perform another miracle.

"With only the team which finishes top automatically qualifying and Germany also in Group C, it is a tough challenge but the boys have nothing to fear," said McIlroy, who won 88 caps.

"With the fantastic fans behind them they can put together another strong campaign and they should be confident of grabbing the runners-up spot."

Former Manchester United favourite McIlroy says he also fears for the international future of goalkeeper Roy Carroll, who was overlooked for the Czech battle.

"Roy Carroll has been a great servant for Northern Ireland but perhaps his time is over and there are other options the manager needs to look at," he added.

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