Belfast Telegraph

Eu top sides don't scare us

Northern Ireland players have never backed down from a fight — from adversity comes strength and opportunity.

Big challenges are simply obstacles that must be overcome. The players proved that throughout their international careers. There hasn't been a World Cup or Euro qualifying campaign where Northern Ireland have felt totally comfortable and at ease with the opposition. We’ve always played the underdog. Sure, we’ve been on the crest of a wave and come close to a first major Finals appearance since 1986, but only after landing KO blows on the super heavyweights in our group. Therefore, why all the doom and gloom over a Euro 2012 draw that pitted us alongside World cup holders Italy and Serbia and Slovenia, both qualifiers for South Africa 2010.

Did we really expect an easy ride just because this may be Northern Ireland’s last realistic qualifying opportunity with this group players?

For the full story, see this week's Sunday Life.

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