A meeting with world champions Germany in Paris next week holds no fear for a confident Northern Ireland side buoyed by their first Euro 2016 win, forward Josh Magennis has said
It is only two years since Germany secured their fourth World Cup title, producing a 7-1 semifinal demolition of hosts Brazil en-route to glory, and Joachim Low's team are unbeaten in their two games in France so far having taken four points from matches against Ukraine and Poland.
Northern Ireland would seal a knockout place with a win and Michael O'Neill's men claim there is nothing terrifying about Low's squad.
"I've always been brought up that the only person I fear is God,'' Magennis said. "I'm quite religious so I don't fear any man.
"We know Germany are a very, very good team. They have a ridiculous amount of quality, but, in terms of fear, this isn't an industry you can have fear in. If you let fear take hold of you, you're like a rabbit in the headlights.
"We're proud to wear the Northern Ireland badge, we come here with great confidence from finishing top of our group, and there's no team that we fear in this competition.''
Those remarks were echoed by winger Stuart Dallas, who highlighted a table-topping qualifying campaign as proof Northern Ireland can make an impact in France.
"A lot of people say we are here to make up numbers, but we're not," Dallas said. "A lot seem to forget that we topped our [qualifying] group. We're a good side -- we don't fear anyone."
Northern Ireland's last-16 hopes remain intact because of the 2-0 victory over Ukraine in Lyon on Thursday, when O'Neill's gamble of switching half of his outfield players came off.
Dallas was one of the quintet introduced to the starting line-up, while Magennis -- who combined with the Leeds man to tee up Niall McGinn for the second goal -- was introduced off the bench.
- Northern Ireland (@NorthernIreland) June 17, 2016
"It was a massive decision," Magennis said of O'Neill's bold tactical move. "If Jose Mourinho or Roy Hodgson did it they would be hailed as a magician. A lot of praise has to go to Michael and his backroom staff.
"At this level, especially with what's at stake, you can't take any liberties, you can't have loyalty shown, it has to be put on the backburner and you have to move forward.
"After the Poland game, there wasn't many left afterwards who maybe could have said, 'I deserve to start the next game.'
"We went back to 4-5-1, a formation that got us so much success in the qualifiers, and it just seemed to work. The boys that stepped in were fantastic, we nullified their threat of the two wide men, kept a clean sheet and scored two goals."