Stuart Dallas has never tasted defeat as a Northern Ireland player at Windsor Park and he accepts the expectation will be that such a run will continue when Norway visit this weekend.
The Leeds winger was injured in November when Croatia became the first team since Portugal in 2013 to emerge victorious from Belfast in a friendly that came against a depleted Northern Ireland side.
Dallas’ unbeaten record has therefore remained intact with six wins and two draws from his eight appearances at Windsor Park, where Lars Lagerback’s Norwegians are the visitors for a World Cup qualifier on Sunday.
Such form, and the run to the Euro 2016 knockout stages this summer, has heightened belief around the country but Dallas claims the team are comfortable with dealing with it.
“The players talk among themselves about how confident we are, we can’t really see ourselves getting beaten or putting in a bad performance,” he said.
“We as players know how good we are and what we expect of ourselves, and obviously we’re winning games and the success we had last summer and the fans’ expectations have probably risen a bit.
“But the group we have, we know how good we are and we know what we want to achieve and last year gave us a taste of that.
“I think it shows how far we have come, and the management and staff have to take a lot of credit for that. I still maintain any team who comes to Windsor, no matter who it is, we will give a good account of ourselves against them.
“We won’t just roll over, and our home form has to be crucial for us now we are going into games and expecting to win whereas a few years ago maybe we would think, ‘We’ll do well to get a point here’, which shows how far we have come.”
The Northern Irish lie second in Group C on seven points in a mini league that Germany are already seemingly guaranteed to top.
In the race to finish runners-up to the world champions, and therefore claim a possible play-off berth, Michael O’Neill’s side are currently ahead of the rest and according to Dallas they are heading towards the points target they set themselves back at the start of qualification.
“It has been a good start for us, I think we’re on course for what we set out to achieve,” he added.
“We set ourselves a points target and we are on course for that
“I think first and foremost you have to win your home games and take it from there. Obviously people are expecting us to win this game and get three points.
“Norway have a new manager, I think they are missing six players from the squad who played in the last game, so they have new players who will have a point to prove which may make it that bit tougher for us but we will prepare the way we always do and go into the game expecting to get the three points.”