New captain Aaron Ramsey is convinced Wales will qualify for the next World Cup.
Wales are a dismal 114 in the world rankings and have virtually no chance of playing at Euro 2012 after losing their opening four qualifiers. Yet 20-year-old midfielder Ramsey believes the current crop of players have huge potential and that new manager Gary Speed can guide them to Brazil in three years' time.
Ramsey said: "A lot of people keep saying that we talk about things but are not producing. But under this new regime I believe this is the time we will actually qualify for something and I really believe we will qualify for the World Cup."
He added: "There's been a big change with Wales in the way we play and stuff.
"We've had good periods in games against England and Scotland but we need to be more consistent throughout games. That is what we are working on."
Wales are still to win under Speed after losing their last three matches but they should be favourites as they take on a youthful Northern Ireland side in the Carling Nations Cup on Friday night.
Speed's men went down 3-1 to Scotland in the first part of their double-header in Dublin on Wednesday but the manager will now field a much stronger side.
Ramsey will return to the starting line-up along with the likes of Wayne Hennessey, David Vaughan, Danny Collins and Craig Bellamy.
Bellamy has overcome a hamstring injury suffered in Cardiff's Championship play-off loss to Reading earlier this month.
It will be his last outing before the summer and then a return to Manchester City following the conclusion of his season-long loan with the Bluebirds.