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Northern Ireland have 'nothing to lose' in final group game against England

England have already qualified for the knockout stages as Group A winners in Euro 2022.

Northern Ireland's Kirsty McGuinness and Lauren Wade.
Northern Ireland's Kirsty McGuinness and Lauren Wade.
Image: David Catry

NORTHERN IRELAND FORWARD Kirsty McGuinness insists Kenny Shiels’ side will not be fazed by facing England on Friday in their final game at Euro 2022.

England have already qualified for the knockout stages as Group A winners after thrashing Norway 8-0 in their second match on Monday.

Northern Ireland, at their first major tournament, are out after successive 4-1 and 2-0 defeats to Norway and Austria respectively.

When asked if it was a “frightening prospect” facing Sarina Weigman’s in-form side, McGuinness said: “Of course yeah, but we’ve played these teams before.

“I think everyone’s in shock at the (Norway) score, but we just want to go out and give our all.

“We’ve nothing to lose. We came here and gave everything and we’re going to do exactly the same for the last game.

“We know how big a team England are and how good they are, but we just want to go out and play and hopefully pick up some points.”

Shiels’ players sank to their knees at the final whistle versus Austria at St Mary’s on Monday, but McGuinness says they have more to give against England on Friday at the same venue.

“We watched the (England v Norway) game at the hotel, obviously it was a good performance by England, but we just want to focus more on ourselves,” McGuinness said.

“It’s our last game here and we just want to go out and leave everything on the pitch, give everything we have and hopefully we can get a good result from it.”

McGuinness, 27, has appeared in both group games alongside teenage sister Caitlin McGuinness, who is also a team-mate at Cliftonville Ladies.

Both were second-half substitutes against Norway and Caitlin, 19, stepped off the bench against Austria to again play alongside Kirsty, who had started.

Kirsty said: “I can’t get rid of her! She’s everywhere! It’s been great for Caitlin as one of the younger players in the squad.

“She’s been able to go out and show what she can do and hopefully she’ll get a lot more minutes in the last game against England.”

Gavin Cooney
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Caitlin said she hoped Northern Ireland’s qualification for the tournament will prove an inspiration for her country’s next generation.

“There was a lot of young girls at the (Austria) game and a lot of families and they were all looking out for us,” Caitlin said.

“They now know it’s possible to get to major tournaments with Northern Ireland, so that should push them on and make them believe that they could be here one day too.”

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