Northern Ireland’s Josh Magennis says confidence is sky high before Sunday’s opening World Cup qualifier away to the Czech Republic.
Michael O’Neill’s side proved their mettle at the Euro 2016 Finals in France and now they head into their World Cup qualifying campaign believing they can reach the finals in Russia in 2018.
The Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, Germany, Norway and San Marino make up Group C with O’Neill’s men and Magennis says they are looking forward to the challenge.
“The confidence we have as a group is fantastic. The most important thing the boss made clear was that he wanted continuity and most of the team from the Euro finals has progressed on to the World Cup.
“There will be drop-outs due to injury and suspension. And a few new faces may come in but for the most part, the core of the team is still the same.
“So we are going into this campaign with more confidence than we had going into the Euro campaign,” added Magennis.
And Magennis believes Northern Ireland have the firepower to get off to a good start against the Czechs in Group C.
“It is important we get them while they are in transition and hopefully we get them on a bad day.
“But we know we have what it takes to be competitive up to the last minute of the game and it takes just one moment of quality to win a match.
“We possess a lot of players who can provide that moment of magic, but we are determined to get off to a good start.”