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Northern Ireland: ‘The pressure is completely on Portugal’ – Simone Magill

Magill was involved the last time Northern Ireland played against Portugal and hopes the current crop of players can replicate the famous 1-0 away win they enjoyed in that 2017 friendly.

“We’ve got good memories of playing against Portugal away and it is hard to go and play in the heat, but it will be a really good test to see where we are.”

The Aston Villa striker, who scored in Northern Ireland’s 3-1 win against Bosnia-Herzegovina in their last game, believes that result will breed confidence for the young squad.

“We are in transition, and we are growing game after game especially after the last game where we had to dig deep away from home, and we showed great character.

“That will stand us in good stead going into [Friday] night where we will hopefully look to build again.”

Magill is adamant that Northern Ireland must start the game in Leiria well to have any chance of springing an upset and picking up a positive result.

“We have spoken a lot in this campaign about starting fast, it is definitely a really big focus of ours.

“There is no doubt we will be up against it, they’re a top side, in the heat and with the crowd, but we are focused on ourselves and keeping it tight and hopefully we will get a good performance.”

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