Michael O'Neill's side opened their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 0-0 draw against the Czech Republic on Sunday and will now face San Marino and Germany in their next two games in October.
"It is important to pick up points at home, starting next month against San Marino," McAuley said.
"We have struggled against teams like that in the past. I'm not one for looking back but in the last campaign we found a way of beating the teams we are expected to beat.
"Hopefully we can be positive and be on the front foot, and it will be nice to get back to Windsor and have the home crowd and the stadium when it's fully finished.
"And with that crowd behind us, hopefully we can turn that into another three points which would make it a really positive start."
"We want to be in a good position before we go to Germany. We've already seen first-hand at the Euros just how good they are, so it's probably a group where it is a race for second place and a play-off place.
"Our aim is to win the next one and go to Germany and give the best performance we can."