Pompey favourite backs Welsh win

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Former Pompey striker and Wales international Derek Showers gives his view on his country’s showdown with Northern Ireland in Paris tonight...

We’re looking forward to the challenge of Northern Ireland – a local derby!

And I think this is the game we can win to make the last eight of the Euros.

From there, who knows? It’s one-off games and anything could happen.

This effort has to rank at the top of Welsh achievements in football – ever.

We haven’t been anywhere since Pele knocked us out of the World Cup in 1958!

Getting there was a great thing, but now we’re in the last 16 and we really believe we can make it to the last eight.

Maybe some thought we’d be off home on the first plane.

But we’ve got players, Premier League players throughout – before we’d have Championship and League One players everywhere.

What we have to be wary of is the threat posed by Northern Ireland from set-pieces.

They are a powerful side and Ashley Williams isn’t the biggest.

We’ve finished top of the group and that was a big bonus for us. Monday’s game was exceptional. We played so well.

We were under a lot of pressure in the England game, sat back and let them come on to us.

But we’ve got ourselves together and have gone for it.

Hal Robson-Kanu has impressed me with his hold-up play and offering an outlet.

I have to be honest, I don’t think Gareth Bale has done too much beside free-kicks, but when he gets on the ball and runs at people he’s phenomenal.

There’s Aaron Ramsey, and Joe Allen has done well. Seeing as he’s ex-Swansea and I’m Cardiff that’s not an easy thing to say!

There’s going to be a lot of hype around the game that’s for sure.

These lads play against each other all the time anyway and Martin Atkinson is reffing it.

It’s going to like a Premier League game – but one I think we’ll win.