Hughes relishes Park life
Northern Ireland skipper Aaron Hughes has spoken of the importance of Windsor Park to the province.
Last Updated: 29/03/09 7:08pm
Northern Ireland skipper Aaron Hughes has spoken of the importance of Windsor Park to the province's World Cup qualification hopes.
The province currently top qualifying Group Three after beating Poland 3-2 in Belfast on Saturday - their eighth game unbeaten in competitive matches at home.
Next up is another crucial clash with Slovenia at Windsor Park on Wednesday, which is being shown live on Sky Sports 3 at 7.45pm.
Hughes believes the atmosphere and basic facilities at the old ground give them an edge over opponents.
He said: "It's not a nice place to come for a lot of sides I would imagine.
"The conditions aren't great and the atmosphere is intimidating.
"That gives us a little bit of a boost. If we can make it difficult for them on the pitch as well, it all adds to it.
"It was blustery and the pitch was bobbly but we dug in well and saw the game out."
The Fulham defender is now targeting another win over Slovenia, whom they lost to after conceding two late goals earlier in the campaign.
He added: "It is half the job done in terms of the two games and we want to go and do the same on Wednesday.
"If we perform like we did against Poland there's every chance that we'll get the same result. That is what we're after. It is all about keeping the momentum going."
Warren Feeney scored the opener against Poland and dedicated his goal to his mother, who was admitted to hospital on the eve of the game after breaking her leg playing with her grandchildren.
Feeney said: "I would like to dedicate the goal to my mum.
"I got the bad news at the team hotel that she had fallen and broken her leg, so I was up at the hospital all night.
"She is okay after going through an operation. Everything went well.
"She told me just to go out and play my normal game. I said I would nick a goal for her. I am pleased to do that and delighted we got the three points."
Like Hughes, Feeney cannot wait to take on Slovenia on Wednesday.
"It is a massive win for us and we know we have another home game on Wednesday," he said.
"It is one we are looking forward to and one we know we can win."