Saturday 1 October 2016

Hamilton's Michael McGovern still in dreamland after Northern Ireland heroics

Published 16/10/2015 | 15:56

Michael McGovern is aiming to keep up his fine form for Hamilton to ensure he plays at Euro 2016
Michael McGovern is aiming to keep up his fine form for Hamilton to ensure he plays at Euro 2016

Northern Ireland goalkeeper Michael McGovern is focused on maintaining his club form to ensure he sees his Euro 2016 dream through.

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The Hamilton player helped Northern Ireland qualify for the Euros for the first time with last week's 3-1 victory over Greece.

The 31-year-old is still on a high following the memorable night in Belfast, but knows he cannot afford to take his eye off the ball as Hamilton prepare to host Dundee in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

McGovern secured his national team's number one jersey midway through the campaign and he is determined to hold on to it for next summer's finals in France.

"It was the best week in my career," the former Falkirk player said. "I enjoyed it so much. The whole experience of playing, qualifying - it's been something else.

"It's still a bit of a dream, still sinking in. Usually when you play in big games, one or two days afterwards you forget about it, but I'm still on a high now a week after the game.

"The reaction has been huge. It's absolutely amazing, the amount of messages I've had and the things in the media. Even after the game, seeing people celebrate in the streets.

"After the game at Windsor Park the atmosphere was unreal. We were going round and we had a real chance to see everything and take it in, because when you're playing the game you don't get the chance - you are focusing totally on the game.

"It was a really special moment and one you have to savour because you don't know when it will happen again. We have never qualified for the Euros and a pot-five team has never topped their group.

"It's such a positive and I just want to continue it on now with Hamilton and bring my confidence into the game on Saturday.

"For me now, I just want to focus on the Dundee game and the rest of the games going forward, because I really need to keep my form up.

"I need to play well for Hamilton to continue to play for Northern Ireland. My sole focus now is to play well for Hamilton, starting on Saturday against Dundee, and hopefully help the team achieve a good result."

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