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15 December 2015

Brady, Hoolahan, Lafferty & Olsson on Euro fate

NORWICH City are set to have four players involved at UEFA Euro 2016, with Robbie Brady, Wes Hoolahan, Kyle Lafferty and Martin Olsson in line to represent their countries.

Saturday's draw saw Brady and Hoolahan's Republic of Ireland joined in Group E alongside Olsson's Sweden, in addition to Belgium and Italy.

Meanwhile, Lafferty's Northern Ireland were placed in Group C with world champions Germany, as well as Poland and Ukraine.

The quartet spoke to to give their thoughts on the draw:

Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland)
"It's not the worst draw we could have got. Obviously it's a tough group, but every group is going to be like that with a couple of world class teams in each.

"To get to the tournament is an achievement in itself. We'll go into it confident, because anything can happen on the day, especially in such a big competition.

"Hopefully we can pull off some results to put is in good stead. Martin Olsson has started saying Sweden will beat us already so the banter has already begun, but we'll see how it goes.

"I imagine we'll have good support as always, so we're looking forward to it. We've got a job to here first though; to pick up as many points we can.

"That's an important part of our preparation. We want to be playing well going into the tournament so we can give it a good go."

Wes Hoolahan (Republic of Ireland)
"There are a lot of quality teams in the tournament, so it's not too bad. We'll probably be the underdogs in most games, but we had a tough group in qualifying too.

"We managed to get through that so we're looking forward to it. It's going to be a good test and we're quietly confident we can do well.

"Beating the world champions Germany means the boys know we're capable. We believe we can beat anyone on the day, although you always need a little bit of luck.

"To qualify was fantastic for everyone, and it will be mine and Robbie's first major tournament. We're looking forward to the opening game now against Sweden and facing Martin Olsson, which will be interesting."

Martin Olsson (Sweden)
"Everyone was looking forward to the draw, then I got a text from Robbie saying we were in the same group which will be fun.

"It's a tough group for us but that's what you expect at the Euros. We want to enjoy it because it's going to be a real occasion. 

"You want to play against good teams, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic gives us a little bit extra. Whenever we're looking for a goal he'll pop up with one, so he's great to have in the squad.

"It's a group we believe we can pick up points in to reach the next stage, so hopefully that will happen. We always bring a lot of fans to these competitions, like Ireland do as well, so that will be a good game.

"Robbie told me they would beat us, so he's trying to change the story to put the pressure on me! It will be good to go up against him and Wes as they're good friends of mine.

"The most important thing for now though is the Premier League. That's my main focus, and all I'm thinking about right now."

Kyle Lafferty (Northern Ireland)
"It's the first Euros we've qualified for as a country and we want to test ourselves against the best players in the world.

"To come up against Germany and Poland, we're going to have that opportunity. It would have been nice to get a better chance of getting out of the group, but we've got a good squad of players.

"We've shown in the past we can come out on top where we're the underdogs. We'll go there not fearing anyone because we're a decent side with a lot of heart and determination.

"Every team is beatable. We'll play as we always do and it will be an exciting tournament. I've been in the squad for almost ten years; there have been a lot of ups and downs but it's all worth it now.

"We're not the biggest country in the world but everyone at home can't wait for it. Knowing the Northern Ireland fans they'll be out in their numbers, and they know how to have a good time.

"We'll go there to give them a good time but also produce results on the pitch to make the party go on a bit longer."

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