It’s hard to imagine that Northern Ireland finished their World Cup qualifying group with two defeats in the last week, such is the euphoria surrounding the team reaching the play-offs.
The feelgood factor is well justified, however, and the many Fermanagh fans who travelled home from Oslo in Norway on Tuesday were in fine fettle and looking forward to a home and away tie in November, in which they will strive to reach Russia.
Indeed, following the Republic’s gutsy win in Cardiff on Monday night, fans of both teams are full of optimism.
Northern Ireland’s two defeats come with extenuating circumstances. 
Last Thursday’s 3-1 defeat to Germany at Windsor Park was no disgrace. 
Having already clinched second place, NI had something of a free hit, and came up against possibly the best team ever to grace the south Belfast venue.
As if the task wasn’t going to be hard enough against such power, pace and quality, the world champions took the lead with just over a minute gone. 
Keeper Michael McGovern had no chance with Sebastian Rudy’s 30-yard rocket, and indeed the Enniskillen netminder was left grasping at air again when Sandro Wagner made it 2-0.
To their credit, Northern Ireland made a fist of the second half, and could have got back in the game when Conor Washington hit the bar. 
But Kimmich wrapped it up with a third before Josh Magennis got a very late consolation.
The Windsor faithful remained in good – and noisy – spirits throughout the game. Not least the Fermanagh contingent who now have another local link in the team. 
In addition to Michael McGovern and Kyle Lafferty, restored to the starting line-up and doing well, plus the presence of Roy Carroll in the squad, there is now George Savile.
The Millwall midfielder, who came through the Chelsea academy system, qualifies for Northern Ireland through his grandmother, Emily Tarrant from Enniskillen. 
His qualification has only recently come to light, but Michael O’Neill was sufficiently impressed to throw him in as a sub against the Germans.
Savile also came on at half-time against Norway, who defeated NI 1-0 in Oslo on Sunday evening, after a rare McGovern mistake resulted in a Chris Brunt own goal. 
Savile again showed up well and might have equalised but scooped his shot over the bar.
By the time the game kicked off in Oslo, NI had heard they were already in the play-offs and this is blamed for a little lack of edge in their performance with six players one yellow card away from suspension.
Despite defeat, the green and white army headed home in good spirits.
They await the draw on Tuesday to see who they face in the play-offs in mid-November.
Due to the seeding system, they know there will not be an all-Ireland battle as Northern Ireland and the Republic will be in the same section and will not face each other.
There are, therefore, high hopes from local fans of the two that both Irelands can emerge to qualify for the World Cup in Russia, the draw for which takes place at the beginning of December.