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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 September 2005, 21:43 GMT 22:43 UK
Sanchez hails team after victory
Lawrie Sanchez
Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez put the shock 1-0 World Cup qualifier victory over England down to the belief of his players.

David Healy's second half goal gave N Ireland their first home win over England in 78 years.

"I said to them it was about belief to win - when they went out one or two did not believe but by half-time 11 believed it," Sanchez told BBC Sport.

"We were magnificent in the second half and the best team won."

Sanchez said the Group Six success surpassed his FA Cup heroics with Wimbledon and Wycombe Wanderers.

"This has got to top it - for a small nation in world footballing terms to beat a team of the calibre of England, and their best team," he added.

"That is David Healy's 11th goal in 17 internationals for me. He has quality and is Premiership class.

"The fans were also magnificent and we played with an extra man - they raised the team, they believed in the team and the team gave it back in bundles.

I can't really sum up in words what this victory means to everyone
Aaron Hughes

"We have to make sure that when the European qualifiers come we can get through to a major finals."

The N Ireland boss had sympathy for his defeated opponents and he believes England will still qualify for the World Cup finals next year.

"This is our moment of glory while it is a blip for England," he said.

"They will qualify for the finals and they have every chance of bringing the trophy back to England.

"They are a good team and will bounce back."

N Ireland captain Aaron Hughes said the attitude of the team proved decisive at Windsor Park.

"I can't really sum up in words what this victory means to everyone," said the Aston Villa defender.

"Right from the the start we set about England and showed we meant business and came away with an incredible win.

"We knew what we had to do to beat England and showed that belief can sometimes bridge a gap in talent."

Interview: Lawrie Sanchez

Interview: David Healy


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