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Hughes closing on NI history

Northern Ireland star Aaron Hughes insists he has no thoughts of retiring from internationals for a second time.

Last Updated: 13/11/13 at 17:37 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  International Friendlies. Click here to bet.

Aaron Hughes: No plans to retire from NI duty

Aaron Hughes: No plans to retire from NI duty

The Fulham centre-back quit internationals at the end of the Euro 2012 qualifiers, only to change his mind after talking to incoming manager Michael O'Neill.

And Hughes admits the idea of becoming the first outfield player to win 100 Northern Ireland caps - he is currently on 87 - is an appealing one.

A troublesome thigh injury has kept the Fulham defender out of his side's last four World Cup qualifiers but he is back in the squad for Friday's friendly in Turkey.

"I haven't thought about retirement," he said. "The last time I thought long and hard about it and it felt right at the time.

"I then spoke to Michael and I liked a lot of things he was saying. I also really missed it and any time there was a game I thought a lot about being around the squad.

"At the time I wasn't in the Fulham team so I decided to come back but there is no rush for me to make any decisions now.

"I have had informal chats with Michael but there has been no massive heart-to-heart."

Hughes will win his 88th cap in Adana, another step to entering the history books. Only goalkeeper Pat Jennings has chalked up a century of caps for Northern Ireland.

"I guess because I am on 87 caps I do think a bit about getting to the 100 milestone," he said.

"Sometimes I let myself think about it, then there are other times when I know it is not the time to let my mind wander.

"Everything will depend on injuries and if I am playing for my club. I have got to be playing and getting minutes on the pitch if I am going to make it to 100 but of course it would be extremely special.

"At the minute I am just looking to play whenever possible and not looking too far ahead.

"The big goal is to try to qualify for the Euros but like I said, injuries and not playing would probably be factors."

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