David Healy has insisted he has not given up on Northern Ireland's chances of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.
Nigel Worthington's side claimed their first win in Group 3 on Wednesday night as they overcame San Marino 4-0.
Sunderland striker Healy opened the scoring in the encounter, with his country currently fourth in the six-team standings.
And Healy is optimistic Northern Ireland can reach South Africa in two years' time after they got their campaign up and running.
He said: "It would be nothing short of a miracle to get to the finals - but miracles happen and that is the big prize.
"We have let a few points slip already but we are back in the frame. You just never know. We will not be giving up the ghost.
"No disrespect to San Marino. We are expected to beat them again in February, and I would be disappointed if that was not the case."
Healy's goal in Belfast was his 35th in 69 international appearances, but his first in five matches
Of the minor drought, he told the BBC: "I was never beating myself up about the situation.
"When you score a lot of goals, people expect things - and when you do not deliver, some of them might take a little pop at you.
"But that is the way football is. This was not one of my better goals - but they all count."