Belfast Telegraph

We have learned our lesson against minnows

Euro 2016 qualifiers

By Stuart McKinley

Kyle Lafferty has claimed that Northern Ireland have shed the tag of being a team that buckles under the weight of expectation.

And he is determined to prove that by beating the Faroe Islands tomorrow night and taking a big step towards the Euro 2016 finals.

It was Lafferty's late equaliser that saved Northern Ireland from an embarrassing defeat the last time they were in the Faroes five years ago.

More recently there were losses away in Luxembourg and Azerbaijan in the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, but Lafferty believes the mentality in Michael O'Neill's team has changed.

"We are a different side than we were two years ago," he said.

"Northern Ireland have never had problems going out and performing when we are underdogs, but we have struggled against lesser nations.

"I think we've put that to one side now. In the last campaign we had poor results against Luxembourg and Azerbaijan. We let ourselves and the country down, but Michael has a great group here and everyone wants to work hard for each other and we actually believe that we can be in France next summer."

Belfast Telegraph