NI hoping to kick off World Cup qualifiers with two wins

Kenny Shiels says his Northern Ireland side feel they can pick up maximum points in their opening Women’s 2023 World Cup qualifiers against Luxembourg and Latvia.

Shiels’ side are full of confidence after creating their own piece of history by qualifying for their first-ever women’s major tournament in Euro 2022 next summer in England.

And they are looking to carry that momentum into tonight’s game against Luxembourg at Inver Park and Tuesday’s clash with Latvia at the National Stadium.

“They’re games we feel we can win,” Shiels told BBC Sport.

Northern Ireland boss Kenny Shiels

“At this level though you can’t say you’re going to win.

“We’ve got the girls in a good place, when they’re in a good place you have a better chance of winning.

“Who knows? We just have to perform to the best of our ability.

“They are in a happy place and that’s the first commitment we need.

“We want them to look at it as a game we can win. We need to be enthusiastic about that.

“We have to make sure nobody works harder than us. We’ve got to use the analogy that you can’t do anything without hard work.

“You can be the best player in the world, but if you haven’t got a work ethic then it’s not going to work for you.

“Fingers crossed we get the crowd to come out and support us.

“If we can get a full stadium we will start quick and sharp.

“If you put those combinations together if gives you a better chance.”

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