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Washington discusses World Cup hopes

CONOR Washington says he is focused on getting his “club form in order” to give himself the best chance of featuring in Northern Ireland’s World Cup play-off fixtures against Switzerland.

Michael O’Neill’s men will host the Swiss, who are currently 11th in the FIFA world rankings, in the first leg at Windsor Park on 9-11 November before the away leg which will be played on 12-14 November.

Washington started Northern Ireland’s final group game against Norway earlier this month but he is taking nothing for granted ahead of two massive games for his country.

“I had the Euros a couple of summers ago and that was fantastic, and I want to experience atmospheres like that again,” he told

“I say it a lot but it’s not clichéd for me when I say this is a boyhood dream for me.

“What I have to do is make sure I get my club form in order so that I make the squad for these games.

“The other strikers in the Northern Ireland squad are playing week in, week out, so my aim has to be to match them in that respect.

“I know I will only get into that squad on the back of good performances for QPR so that’s where my focus is.”

Switzerland finished runners-up in Group B, picking up an impressive nine wins from ten fixtures. Their solitary defeat came at the hands of group winners Portugal, and Washington admitted: “It’s going to be two tough games but we are going to go into both of them with plenty of confidence.

“Hopefully we can get the results we need.”

Northern Ireland were runners-up to Germany in Group C, and Washington added: “You don’t come second in your group without being a good side, so that says a lot about them and it says a lot about ourselves as well.

“I am sure they won’t under-estimate us and I know we won’t be under-estimating them so it should make for two really good games.

“We have done brilliantly in our qualifying campaign to get to this stage. We don’t want 14 months of work to go to waste so we are going to be right at it.

“The home game is first so that’s going to be a fantastic atmosphere for us, and an interesting one for them.”

I will only get into that squad on the back of good performances for QPR so that’s where my focus is.

Conor Washington