Belfast Telegraph

Watch: 'We're gonna win the group' as Northern Ireland fans give their view from Windsor Park

Interviews, video chats and 34 photos: Do you feature anywhere?

Words by Ian Cahoon, Video by Ben Tucker

It was a big night at the National Stadium but so many of these fans had been here before.

Qualification for Euro 2016 was sealed on a memorable night in Belfast and there was a similar sense of expectation heading to Windsor last night.

A subdued start by Michael O'Neill's men soon gave way to euphoria as Jonny Evans glanced in the 28th minute opener.

From that point on the ground was rocking, literally, as fans lapped up the chance to see their boys wrap up second place on home turf with Chris Brunt's expert free-kick.

In the dying embers of the game the Kop chanted at O'Neill, asking for a wave. He duly obliged but quickly pointed out that it was his players who were doing the business.

In truth though, this has been another memorable campaign where players, management and fans alike have played their part.

"You turn up to games like this and expect the lads to do the business, that's how assured they have become," said Belfast man Gary Addis. "The outfit we've become under Michael O'Neill is incredible, there are so many other countries who would love to be in the position we are.

"Michael got the set-up right, yet again and we took our chances when they came along."

James Wilson believes it was simply job done. He added: "I don't think it was the best performance of the group so far, but you can't really complain after what we've done!

"We've become masters of getting the job over the last few years and we've done it again."

The victory brought yet another clean sheet for O'Neill's men, their seventh in eight Group C outings.

Peter Semple believes this has been instrumental in their success so far.

"Just watch how Jonny Evans marshals the defence. He's a top class player, Man City have missed a trick there," he said.

Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 4th September 2017
FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 - Qualifying Group C. Northern Ireland Vs Czech Republic at the National Stadium at Windsor Park. Northern Ireland fans at the match
Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 4th September 2017 FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 - Qualifying Group C. Northern Ireland Vs Czech Republic at the National Stadium at Windsor Park. Northern Ireland fans at the match Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 4th September 2017 FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 - Qualifying Group C. Northern Ireland Vs Czech Republic at the National Stadium at Windsor Park. Northern Ireland fans at the match Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 4th September 2017 FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 - Qualifying Group C. Northern Ireland Vs Czech Republic at the National Stadium at Windsor Park. Northern Ireland fans at the match Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 4th September 2017 FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 - Qualifying Group C. Northern Ireland Vs Czech Republic at the National Stadium at Windsor Park. Northern Ireland fans at the match Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 4th September 2017-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Northern Ireland fans Nigel, Lewis,Samantha Orr-McAuley before Monday night's 2018 World Cup Russia Qualifier Group C match at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park. Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 4th September 2017 FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 - Qualifying Group C. Northern Ireland Vs Czech Republic at the National Stadium at Windsor Park. Northern Ireland fans at the match Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 4th September 2017-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Northern Ireland fans celebrate victory against the Czech Republic during Monday night's 2018 World Cup Russia Qualifier Group C match at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park. Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 4th September 2017-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Northern Ireland fans celebrate victory against the Czech Republic during Monday night's 2018 World Cup Russia Qualifier Group C match at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park. Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 4th September 2017-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Northern Ireland fan Gillian Stewart before Monday night's 2018 World Cup Russia Qualifier Group C match at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park. Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 4th September 2017-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Northern Ireland fans Drydan , Holly and Dryden Wilson from Newtownards before the 2018 World Cup Russia Qualifier Group C match at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park. Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 4th September 2017-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Northern Ireland fan Raymond Chambers (8) from Annalong before Monday night's 2018 World Cup Russia Qualifier Group C match at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park. Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 4th September 2017-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Northern Ireland fan Brian Matthews Lisburn before Monday night's 2018 World Cup Russia Qualifier Group C match at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park. Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/09/2017 Northern Ireland v Czech Republic World Cup group C qualifier Northern Ireland fans during this evenings game at Windsor park in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/09/2017 Northern Ireland v Czech Republic World Cup group C qualifier Northern Ireland fans during this evenings game at Windsor park in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/09/2017 Northern Ireland v Czech Republic World Cup group C qualifier Northern Ireland fans during this evenings game at Windsor park in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/09/2017 Northern Ireland v Czech Republic World Cup group C qualifier Northern Ireland fans during this evenings game at Windsor park in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/09/2017 Northern Ireland v Czech Republic World Cup group C qualifier Northern Ireland fans during this evenings game at Windsor park in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/09/2017 Northern Ireland v Czech Republic World Cup group C qualifier Northern Ireland fans during this evenings game at Windsor park in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th September 2017 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans after Monday nights World Cup qualifier win against the Czech Republic at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th September 2017 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans after Monday nights World Cup qualifier win against the Czech Republic at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th September 2017 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans after Monday nights World Cup qualifier win against the Czech Republic at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th September 2017 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans after Monday nights World Cup qualifier win against the Czech Republic at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th September 2017 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans after Monday nights World Cup qualifier win against the Czech Republic at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th September 2017 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans after Monday nights World Cup qualifier win against the Czech Republic at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th September 2017 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans after Monday nights World Cup qualifier win against the Czech Republic at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th September 2017 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans during Monday nights World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th September 2017 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans during Monday nights World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th September 2017 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans during Monday nights World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th September 2017 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans during Monday nights World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th September 2017 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans during Monday nights World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 4th September 2017-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Northern Ireland fans Stefan and Jamie Patterson from Newcastle before Monday night's 2018 World Cup Russia Qualifier Group C match at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park. Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
Northern Ireland's fans celebrate during the World Cup qualifier on September 4th 2017 at Windsor Park (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Northern Ireland's fans celebrate during the World Cup qualifier on September 4th 2017 at Windsor Park (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Pacemaker Belfast 4-9-17 Northern Ireland v Czech Republic - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's fans celebrate their sides goals during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

"We just don't concede goals and it gives you a massive amount of confidence because you know if you don't tend to need two or three goals to win a match in the first place.

"As usual Steven Davis dictated our whole play and although he didn't really get any chances I thought Conor Washington worked hard. It was another good team performance."

Fans can now enjoy the prospect of welcoming World Cup holders Germany next month with the pressure off.

"We're basically there with a play-off place but hopefully we can keep momentum going in these last two games," Sammy Doherty said.

"If you had said we would be guaranteed second place with two games to spare I doubt many would have been believed it."

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