Euro 2020: Aaron Hughes confident Northern Ireland can qualify

Aaron hughes
Hughes won 112 caps for Northern Ireland between 1998 and 2019

Former Northern Ireland captain Aaron Hughes says it would not be surprising to see Michael O'Neill's side qualify for Euro 2020.

Northern Ireland are currently top of Group C with 12 points from four games.

Their final four group matches are home and away fixtures against European heavyweights Germany and the Netherlands.

"I am fully confident that they can do that job," said Hughes, who retired from football in June.

Northern Ireland, who reached the knockout stages of Euro 2016, began their current qualifying campaign with home wins over Estonia and Belarus before securing two crucial away victories in June.

It was after their 1-0 win in Minsk that Hughes retired, some 21 years after he made his international debut.

"I can see them winning one of the games in Belfast, it would not surprise me at all," he said.

"Given the current squad and knowing the hunger that is in the squad to success, it's well rounded.

"We've got athleticism, legs and energy, we've got experience and players that have been playing really well and consistently at international level over the past few seasons."

Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland are top of Group C with 12 points from four matches

Before Northern Ireland play again, Germany and the Netherlands will face off against each other in Hamburg on 6 September.

A win for Germany would see them move level on points with Northern Ireland and would leave the Netherlands nine points adrift with a game in hand.

O'Neill's side host Germany at Windsor Park in their next match on 9 September.

"We talk about the old Windsor nights, but there's no reason why we can't have new Windsor nights and make a real go of it," said Hughes.

"There are so many ways we can do it."

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