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Grigg targets international success

MK Dons striker Will Grigg believes he can be Northern Ireland's big game player after spearheading the giant killing of Manchester United last month.

Grigg, 23, is not one of the better known names in Michael O'Neill's squad and cheerfully admits to being "a League One footballer" but enjoyed a day in the sun when he faced Louis van Gaal's Red Devils in the second round of the Capital One Cup.

He scored twice in a stunning 4-0 victory, putting his side in the lead and then, with a touch of split-second bravado, chesting the ball past David de Gea to double the advantage.

That helped Grigg win a Northern Ireland recall and if the chance does come in the Euro 2016 opener in Hungary on Sunday, his confidence is sky high.

"The United game was probably the highlight of my career. The stadium was full, 27,000 people, a great atmosphere, a great game to be part of," he said.

"I'm one of those players who doesn't really get affected by pressure, it seems to be the bigger the game the better I do to be honest.

"I've played three times on TV, scored in every one and got two man-of-the-matches.

"It doesn't seem to affect me in a negative way. If you get your chance it's your job to take it and hopefully I can do that again."

Northern Ireland have been crying out for a goalscorer since David Healy's heyday, with Kyle Lafferty, Martin Paterson, Jamie Ward and Billy McKay all having their chances to fill the void under O'Neill.

Grigg still has some way to go to make his own case, he has hardly had a sniff of the target in his five caps so far, but he possesses all the requisite self-belief for the task.

"I think even though I'm a League One footballer and I've spent most of my career there, if you score goals you can do it at any level," he said.

"I feel confident in training, I never think I'll struggle to score goals and I think it's something I'll always do.

"If I'm given the chance I think I can definitely deliver.

"Every Northern Ireland striker looks up to what David Healy did for his country, he scored so many goals and so many vital goals as well.

"I still need to get my first goal out the way but that's something I aspire to and will do my best to achieve."

Northern Ireland are looking to get their qualifying campaign off to a morale boosting start at Budapest's Groupama Arena, having won just once in their World Cup group.

With redevelopment work ongoing at Windsor Park the side are currently on their eighth away trip in a row and have failed to score in their last four matches.


From Belfast Telegraph