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I'd love to have the chance of toppling England at Windsor, says Northern Ireland ace McGinn


Relishing it: Niall McGinn can’t wait for the Euro qualifiers

Relishing it: Niall McGinn can’t wait for the Euro qualifiers

Relishing it: Niall McGinn can’t wait for the Euro qualifiers

Winger Niall McGinn says he wants a crack at England in the qualifiers for Euro 2020 and insists he'd love for Northern Ireland to be drawn against them in a few weeks' time.

The draw for the qualifiers will be held on Sunday, December 2, and Northern Ireland will face Gareth Southgate's men should the luck of the draw see them pitted in the same group.

After their disappointing end to the Nations League, which culminated in a 2-1 home loss to Austria and relegation to League C, all the focus is now upon reaching the European finals.

For McGinn, after seeing Germany pulled out of the hat for the World Cup qualifiers last time around, there's an excitement about the possibility of bringing a top side to Belfast again, and the Aberdeen ace already has one preferred opponent in mind.

"We have played against all the big teams, but getting the likes of England here to Windsor Park, it would be unbelievable to play against players you see on the television in the Premier League all the time," said McGinn.

"The likes of Spain (too), but there are loads of teams. If we get the chance to play these teams in friendlies or the Euros - so be it.

"We are just looking forward to the draw and we will dust ourselves down now and go back to our clubs for the next three or fours months."

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Despite now dropping into the third tier of European national football, which will mean coming up against two better ranked nations in the qualifiers as opposed to just one, McGinn shares the opinion of most of his team-mates that there are plenty of positives to take from the campaign.

Although Michael O'Neill's side suffered four defeats - two each against Austria and Bosnia & Herzegovina - there were plenty of young players blooded throughout the games and the team were competitive across the four matches.

McGinn hopes that is something the squad will hold onto as they move forward, saying: "Yes, there are lots of positives.

"The size of the squad is massive and there is competition for places which is great with the youth coming in and the experience we have here shows you how strong this squad is. That can only benefit us when the Euro campaign comes around.

"This campaign will stand us in good stead and the performances have been good but we have to build on those performances."

However, McGinn knows that simply being competitive isn't good enough, and admits they have to start getting back into the win column sooner rather than later.

"We are maybe punching above our weight at times but we are a good side with good players," said the 31-year-old.

"You want to play against the best players, and with this group of Bosnia and Austria we have been out there and playing against the best. They are games you want to be involved in as players and you want to try and be winning these games as well.

"We've been away to places and we've been at home, we've made it difficult for teams and we want to get back to that. But we have to get back to winning, and hopefully that will happen when March comes around."

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