Belfast Telegraph

Joachim Low's Germany men are best in world but we still have hope: Niall McGinn

By Steven Beacom

Niall McGinn has called on Northern Ireland to make a fast start in Germany tomorrow night.

The Aberdeen winger, who started in Saturday's 4-0 victory over San Marino at Windsor Park, believes Joachim Low's side are the best he has ever faced having played against Germany in the Euro 2016 finals, but insists Northern Ireland will enter their latest World Cup qualifier with hope in their hearts.

In France the World Champions dominated and won 1-0. McGinn's aim is to take a point off them this time and states organisation is the key to grabbing it.

"I think the most important thing is getting off to a good start in the first 20 minutes," said McGinn.

"Their movement is always second to none so we have to be careful with that. Their front players don't get tired of making important runs - even if they aren't getting the ball they'll just keep making the runs.

"We have to be rigid and have a good team shape. We'll need plenty of talking and plenty of organisation which we have shown in the past and hopefully our previous experience against them in the Euros can stand us in good stead.

"I only got on for 10 minutes against them in France but even sitting there watching them they're probably the best I've seen live.

"At the start of the tournament they weren't great, but when they played Northern Ireland they showed how good they were and it could have been four or five only for Mickey (McGovern) on the night.

"It's always a privilege to watch these guys and to have the chance to play them is great.

"They have outstanding players like Toni Kroos, who is so good at switching the play, and (Thomas) Muller and (Mario) Gotze who get in behind and attract the attention of the full-backs of the opposition.

"All over the pitch they're a world-class side, so we know we're in for a tough task, but we're looking forward to it. If we could grab a point that would be unbelievable for us."

In their two Group C fixtures to date both Northern Ireland and Germany have yet to concede a goal. You get the feeling if Michael O'Neill's men are to sneak something from the trip to Hannover, they will have to find the net at some stage.

McGinn, likely to be on the bench tomorrow, does not see that as mission impossible, although adds that staying composed if chances come along is a must.

"In the Euros against them we didn't create a lot of chances but there were a couple of times when we could have done a lot better," said McGinn.

"Hopefully we can take any opportunities that come our way."

"If we get a point in Germany it will be unbelievable for us going into the Azerbijan game in November. We're looking forward to the game - we'll have to defend well, take our chances and hopefully get a bit of luck along the way as well."

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