Following Northern Ireland’s first training session in France ahead of their European Championship campaign, ElWriteBack speaks to former U21 international, Daryl Fordyce about his countries chances.
Northern Ireland kick off their Euro 2016 campaign in six days when they face Poland at the Allianz Riviera.
The side had a training session this morning in 24 degrees’ Celsius heat as they prepare for Sunday’s game.
FC Edmonton star, Daryl Fordyce who made 11 appearances for Northern Ireland’s U21 side commented on the country’s chances in Group C saying, “I think we have a good chance of getting out of Group C even though we have world champions Germany in it.
“People are not taking us too seriously but we haven’t lost a game in 12 matches and topped our qualifying group also so that deserves a lot of respect.”
The former Portsmouth player went onto speak about Sunday’s fixture against Poland claiming, “The thing about Northern Ireland fans is that we don’t expect much but instead we get behind the team as much as we can whatever the outcome is.
“Most teams want to get off to a good start so that is what we will be hoping for. I doubt most fans will remember the game anyway as I think most have started drinking already!”
Northern Ireland have also been joined by two young talents in Paul Smyth of Linfield and Glenavon’s Joel Cooper who have been invited to join the national side’s training sessions.
Fordyce spoke about a number of player’s people should look out for during Euro 2016 saying, “The players to look out for in the Northern Ireland team are, Steven Davis (Captain Marvel), Kyle Lafferty and Stuart Dallas.
“These three will most likely be the guys to produce our goals although I wouldn’t be surprised if Gareth McCauley notches a goal.”
In regards of League One sensation, Will Grigg, Fordyce said, “The Will Grigg song is quality! There are so many different versions that are so funny!
“It’s difficult for any player to have what it takes against teams like Germany but I wouldn’t put it past him to come off the bench and score against them.”
Northern Ireland face a tough group with Germany, Ukraine and Poland being their competition as they battle to get out of Group C, but nevertheless the former Glentoran star was confident the national side would go far in the competition saying, “I’m going to stick my neck out here and say we will get to the quarters losing out to Spain.”
The full 23-man Northern Ireland squad is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Alan Mannus (St Johnstone), Michael McGovern (Hamilton), Roy Carroll (Linfield).
Defenders: Craig Cathcart (Watford), Jonathan Evans (West Brom), Gareth McAuley (West Brom), Luke McCullough (Doncaster), Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood), Lee Hodson (MK Dons), Aaron Hughes (free agent), Patrick McNair (Manchester United), Chris Baird (Derby).
Midfielders: Steven Davis (Southampton), Oliver Norwood, (Reading), Corry Evans, (Blackburn), Shane Ferguson (Millwall), Stuart Dallas (Leeds), Niall McGinn (Aberdeen), Jamie Ward (Nottingham Forest).
Forwards: Kyle Lafferty (Norwich), Conor Washington (QPR), Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock), Will Grigg (Wigan).