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McLaughlin focused on Town after international success

15 October 2015

Defender helped Northern Ireland qualify for Euro 2016

Conor McLaughlin is focused on helping Town move away from the lower echelons of the League One table after returning from international duty.

The right-back helped Northern Ireland qualify for next summer’s European Championships as they beat Greece at Windsor Park before picking up a point in Finland.

A near ever-present in Michael O’Neill’s green and white army during qualifying, McLaughlin admits the achievement still hasn’t sunk in.

He is now determined to impress new Cod Army boss Steven Pressley as Town go to battle with Burton Albion this weekend.

He said: “It’s an unbelievable feeling. We were all relieved that it didn’t go down to the final game as it could have been a bit nerve-wracking.

“The atmosphere at Windsor Park for the Greece game was the best atmosphere I’ve ever witnessed. The celebrations afterwards were great and the fans were bouncing.

“I was gutted not to have played the game but there was a few of us suspended and we were just happy to be there and take part in the celebrations.

“After the Greece game we all knew we’d achieved something special but I don’t think it’ll sink if for a while for most of the players.

“Somebody asked me when I was over in Helsinki for the Finland game which team I’d like to come up against, but whichever team we play they’re going to have unbelievable players.

“It’s going to be a great experience for us all and fingers crossed I can just stay fit between now and then.”

McLaughlin is hoping his side can now move away from the relegation places after a difficult start to the campaign.

“I had my first day’s training with the new manager on Tuesday. It was hard work and we were concentrating on our pressing game.

“The tempo in training has been unbelievable and hopefully it will benefit us all as a squad in the long run this season.

“We’ve got some tough games coming up but I think the more time the lads have with the manager, the more we’ll get used to how he wants to play.

“Once he gets his points across over the next few weeks we’ll start to improve even more. Having watched the Coventry game back, there were a lot of positive to take from it.”

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