Hughes desperate to reach France

14 October 2014 08:15:10 EST

Aaron Hughes is determined to carry on playing for as long as possible and hopes to represent Northern Ireland at Euro 2016.

Michael O'Neill's side are in contention to qualify for the tournament in France after opening their campaign with victories against Hungary and the Faroe Islands, with veteran Brighton defender Hughes playing a key part in those wins.

Hughes, who moved to Brighton from QPR in the summer after starring for Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Fulham earlier in his career, is 34 and has represented his country on 93 occasions but is in no rush to quit international football for a second time.

If you ask every man in the squad what the aim is, it's qualification.

Aaron Hughes

In 2012, he announced that he was retiring before being persuaded to perform a U-turn by O'Neill when he took on the manager's job.

Hughes is keen to make it three victories in a row when Northern Ireland take on Greece on Tuesday, saying: "Northern Ireland has waited a long time for an opportunity like this. We've never qualified for the Euros and the last World Cup was 1986 - which is a long time ago.

"The 1982 and 1986 teams, those are the ones that everyone remembers, and it would be nice to be involved in a team that people talk about. This was a big part of why I changed my mind about retiring from international football.

"That is why we play international football in the first place, with the hope of getting to a finals and, if you ask every man in the squad what the aim is, it's qualification."

Northern Ireland, 1/1 to qualify for Euro 2016, are 1/1 to keep a clean sheet against Greece and 1/1 to edge the match 1-0.

Looking for more from bet365? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or +1 us on Google+ for fun competitions, special offers & much more!

Don't forget, all of the fantastic markets we have to offer, including In-Play betting, can be accessed on mobile or tablet with bet365 On The Move.

View all Soccer betting