Next Game

Hungary v N Ireland

Sunday, 07 September 2014, 17:00

Euro 2016 Qualifying Group F

Last Game

Chile 2 - 0 N Ireland

Thursday, 05 June 2014, 01:00

International Match

Lafferty has point to prove

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

Last Updated: 03/03/14 at 14:58 Post Comment

Kyle Lafferty: Looking to impress

Kyle Lafferty: Looking to impress

Free £50 bet

Daily Offers and Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

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 Wednesday'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 game I was sent off. I had a nightmare," he told Press Association Sport.

"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.

It is a point that is not lost on the player, who is eager to earn the shirt again.

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

"We've spoken about it, Michael still thinks I can offer a lot and I think I can too but we've got three or four strikers now fighting for the place and that's good for competition.

"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."

Lafferty's club form is unlikely to do him any harm, as he has eight goals to his name in Palermo's charge to the head of the Serie B promotion race.

"Palermo is going well. I'm enjoying my football again, playing well and scoring goals," he added.

"Winning any league is an achievement, I won three titles with Rangers and every single one is massive, but winning Serie B, if we manage it, would be another highlight of my career."

Free £50 bet

Daily Offers and Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments


rturo Vidal, James Rodriguez, Angel Di Maria...........who cares we have Mark Oxley.......Ah tis good to be Hibs fan :)

Hull keeper agrees Hibs loan


t's just a ride. Bill Hicks is sorely missed, what a prophet and still relevant twenty years after his death. I'm glad though he didn't get to see George Bush Jnr as President.

Wilshere: Is He Smoking Enough?


hile not comparing the ability of Wilshire to Dr Socrates of Brazil, didn't he do about forty a day?

Wilshere sorry for smoking

Footer 365

Premier League: Manchester United's Juan Mata backs Louis van Gaal's winning mentality

Juan Mata has hailed Louis van Gaal and believes that the Dutchman will bring a winning mentality to Manchester United.

Transfer news: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger prepared to take gamble on Calum Chambers

Arsene Wenger admits signing Calum Chambers from Southampton is somewhat of a gamble, but one he believes will pay off.

Friendly: Raheem Sterling earns Liverpool 1-0 pre-season win over Olympiakos in Chicago

Raheem Sterling scored a lone early goal as Liverpool beat Olympiakos 1-0 in Chicago in the International Champions Cup.

Mail Box

Reasons To Believe That Van Gaal Will Be The Best

Some supporters sound oh so confident on Louis Van Gaal's excellence. Plus thoughts on shirt sales, best signings, football sevens and a good deal more besides...

Are Pre-Season Tours Really A Problem?

Are pre-season tours really a problem? Liverpool went to Australia last summer and it didn't prevent them from having a good season. Plus, thoughts on LvG and keepers...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property