Stuck in Group C with Poland, Ukraine and Germany, many have already written of Northern Ireland’s chances of progression in the Euro 2016 Tournament – and that’s just the way boss Michael O’Neill will want it.
The Ulstermen have been touting the hashtag ‘Dare to Dream’ on their Twitter feed as they build-up to Sunday’s big kick-off against the Poles in Nice.
Few gave them any chance of progression in the 1982 World Cup in Spain, either – until this happened.
Gerry Armstrong’s low driven winner saw them top the Group 5 and advance into the Second Round.
Sure, they were knocked out after drawing with Austria and getting beaten 4-1 by the French after that, but no-one can ever take away the memories of that glory night in a humid, sweaty stadium in Valencia.
Then boss Billy Bingham had considered bringing the mercurial George Best into the Northern Ireland squad for the tournament in ’82.
At 36, Bestie was considered past his best by many ‘experts’ in the game, but had netted this special for the L.A. Earthquakes in the NASL just a year earlier.
It was one of the former Manchester United great’s big regrets that he never got to grace the pitches in the finals of either the European Championships or the World Cup – and a shame for the watching public, too.
There are no great superstars in the Northern Ireland side today, but the bearded Wigan Athletic striker Will Grigg is making a bit of a name for himself, if not just for the fantastic ‘Will Griggs is on Fire’ chant that the ‘Latics fans love belting out.
C’mon Griggsy, son, let’s hear the passionate, boisterous and good-humoured Northern Ireland fans raising the roof with this one.
If the Polish defence isn’t terrified, they should be now.