Keith Gillespie insists Northern Ireland can recover from a poor start to their World Cup qualifying campaign.

However the Sheffield United winger believes it is vital they achieve back-to-back wins against traditional whipping boys San Marino to keep their hopes alive.

The first of those matches is at Windsor Park on Wednesday when the province will be looking to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat away to Slovenia and Gillespie said: "We are still playing good football like we did in the last qualifying campaign (Euro 2008)."

He added: "This is a group where everybody is going to beat everybody so we still have to believe we have a chance.

"We've got San Marino home and away so we need to be taking six points from them.

"Nobody would have thought the Czechs would have one point from two games so it's going to be one of those groups. We are still there, we're still fighting."

David Healy is determined to get up and running after scoring a record 13 goals in the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.

"To win a game is the most important thing but if I go a game or two without scoring there is no one more disappointed than me," said the Sunderland striker.

"I am my own biggest critic. Some people hide from the fact that they haven't played well but I go over everything in my head after a game.

"I think 'I should have shot there or headed that' and sometimes I can be a bit harsh on myself. I expect to score every time I play, whether it's San Marino or anyone else."

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Sunderland
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Keith Gillespie
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Keith Gillespie