Northern Ireland's Pat McCourt says he proved a point

Man-of-the-match Pat McCourt believes he proved a point with two brilliant goals in Northern Ireland's 4-0 win over the Faroe Islands.

The Celtic player had often been overlooked by boss Nigel Worthington, but grabbed his big chance in style.

"It was my first competitive start and I really enjoyed it," said McCourt.

"You always have a point to prove. The whole team had after the Faroes held us to a draw out there. To win the way we did was very pleasing."

Skipper Aaron Hughes opened the scoring with his first goal in 77 games for Northern Ireland.

"I never expected that, but the manager told me to get up for some set-pieces," said the Fulham defender.

"But I am more happy about the result and it puts us in a fantastic position in the group.

"I never felt we were out of it because of the way other results were going."

Hughes had some glowing words of praise for the impact made by the mercurial McCourt.

"It does not surprise me because we see him doing that sort of thing in training and it is why Nigel put him in the team," said the captain.

"Defenders do not know what to do. He has the skill and the execution to finish it."

Worthington also admired McCourt's contribution.

"He is a fantastic individual player with good feet and he is learning how to play for the team," he commented.

"It was a superb display overall - he has taken the opportunity with both hands. With Pat there is so much ability there."