Carroll’s advice to Washington pays off

Northern Ireland goal scorer Conor Washington receives his plaudits from manager Michael O'Neill.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Northern Ireland goal scorer Conor Washington receives his plaudits from manager Michael O'Neill. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

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Striker Conor Washington admits he took some advice from team mate Roy Carroll, as he fired home Northern Ireland’s second goal in their comfortable World Cup qualifing win over Norway.

The QPR front man, who slotted home his third goal in three starts at Windsor Park, as Michael O’Neill’s side produced a professional performance.

Washington said that Linfield goalkeeper Carroll told him to shot threw the keepers legs and that’s exactly what he did just after the half-hour mark.

“I spoke to Roy Carroll before the game and he said ‘go for the keeper’s legs’, as it’s the hardest thing to save, so I took some advice from big Roy and I went there.

“When you are playing in front of players like Steven Davis, you know every time he gets the ball you can make the run and chances are he is going to find you and obviously he did.

Currently sitting in second place on ten points at the half-way stage and the 24-year-old concedes that he continues to love international football.

“I think it’s exactly where we had hoped to be and probably expected to be and now we want to really cement that second place,” he added.

“We need to just keep doing what we are doing, as it’s working so far and when we put in professional performances like that, we look like a real team out there.

“Since I have come into the squad the confidence has been so high and I don’t know anything really different.

“It has been absoutely brilliant, we have got top quality players and top quality lads as well.

“The Azerbaijan game is massive and getting the Czech Republic back here is going to be a really big game.

“But we are full of confidence and we believe that we can get that second spot. 
“To be fair it has been brilliant since I have come in, the atmosphere and the suqad as a whole is a great to be a part of.

“All the lads get on and there has been banter flying about, you can see that in the performances, that we all want to run for each other.

“I love playing here, it’s really enjoyable, the atmosphere is fantastic and I really enjoy playing in front of the fans.

Washington admitted that he still hadn’t kicked the ball before Jamie Ward’s second minute opener.

“I don’t think I had even touched the ball,” he joked.

“To be fair if you give Jamie half a yard in the box, he’s going to find the bottom corner and I don’t think they have done their homework. It was a great start and Jamie deserves that for all the hard work that he puts in.”
Washington feels that captain Steven Davis is ‘the best player he has ever played with’.

“No one comes close to Davis, in training, games and stuff, he really is top quality,” he added.

“He just has everything as a player, he’s great defensively, great work-rate and techinqually he’s incredibly.”