Former Rangers star Lafferty wants to make up for lost time

Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty is desperate to put his international career back on track after enduring a torrid six months.

Loading Comments
Share
Print
Kyle Lafferty is hoping to get his Northern Ireland career back on track
Kyle Lafferty is hoping to get his Northern Ireland career back on track

The former Rangers forward - currently plying his trade in Italy with Serie B leaders Palermo - started the World Cup qualifying campaign as manager Michael O'Neill's first choice but ended it goalless and watching his team-mates from home.

Lafferty's last appearance for his country came in September's 4-2 defeat by Portugal, a match that saw the 26-year-old sent off just 13 minutes after arriving as a substitute.

The subsequent suspension effectively ended his campaign - he was available for the trip to Israel but left on standby - and the birth of his second child saw him miss November's trip to Turkey.

Lafferty is back for tomorrow's friendly in Cyprus and accepts he has a serious point to prove.

"You're only as good as your last game and in my last g ame I was sent off. I had a nightmare," he said.

"I let the lads and the fans down. It was probably down to being too eager. I was disappointed not to start the match and when you come off the bench you want to do the best you can.

"But I was only the pitch about 30 seconds when (Cristiano) Ronaldo scored and I was supposed to be marking him, then I lunged into a tackle and got sent off. It was a disappointing night.

"To finish the campaign with no goals is a frustration on my own behalf so for the next one I'll be psyched up and hoping to give more to the team."

To do so, Lafferty must persuade O'Neill he is ready to make a more consistent contribution.

The former Shamrock Rovers boss was furious with Lafferty's red card at Windsor Park and has been critical of the striker's overall impact during his time in the job.

While never likely to be exiled from the squad for long - Lafferty is too talented and resources too thin for that to be the case - his previous status as a certain starter has been challenged by the likes of Martin Paterson and Jamie Ward in recent months.

"I think Michael's had his say and I'm disappointed with my own performances in some of the games," he said.

"I want to show Michael I'm still good enough for the team, that I'm still here and he can rely on me if I'm called upon."

Football

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

154376

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
A weekly round up of social highlights

A weekly round up of social highlights

Cat's Eyes on Glasgow

gymnast Louis Smith loving my presenting skills and other Games highlights

Times Out

Entertainment

Lifestyle

TV Advert
Gail’s Gab

Gail’s Gab

Gail Sheridan is a mother-of-one and wife to Tommy and she likes to get political with the hot topic of the week in her column Gail’s Gab.

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Sussed in the City

I’m getting older and wise when it comes to partying.

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.