Baku. 25 May. REPORT.AZ/ "Northern Ireland can send out a 'massive statement' to their World Cup group rivals by defeating Azerbaijan in Baku".
Report informs, Northern Ireland team player Kyle Lafferty told Belfast Telegraph.
The striker, looking for a new club after leaving Norwich City, adds that Azerbaijan game away is a huge match: "We can now play under pressure as favourites and win and we can also play well when we are up against it. We can win ugly if necessary and are also capable of putting in top performances. Down the years, lots of Northern Ireland sides have struggled when they have been expected to win, but we have shown already against San Marino, Azerbaijan and even Norway that we have the ability and character to do that. The Azerbaijan game away is a huge match for us. We have made a strong start to the group and I believe we can kick on", said Lafferty.
He added: "The next three games are massively important, beginning with Azerbaijan, then San Marino and the Czech Republic. If we pick up the wins we believe we can achieve we'll be in a really strong position to qualify for the play-offs".
Notably, Kyle Lafferty kicked three goals at 2018 World Cup qualification. One of them scored during the match with the Azerbaijani national team in Belfast on November 11, 2016, which Azerbaijan lost 4:0. In 3 of 5 matches of the team, Lafferty played in the main squad. Azerbaijan-Northern Ireland match will be held at the Republican stadium named after Tofig Bahramov on June 10.