Northern Ireland the latest gossip

Come on Northern-Ireland

 

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill hails striker Kyle Lafferty

Michael O'Neill has hailed striker Kyle Lafferty after his two goals helped put Northern Ireland firmly on course for their first major championships since 1986.

The 27-year-old, who currently plies his trade for Turkish Super Lig club Caykur Rizespor on loan from Championship side Norwich City, starred in a 2-1 win over Finland at Windsor Park on Sunday.

Four wins from five games have given O'Neill's side an excellent chance of qualifying for the European Championship finals in France next summer.

They are only a point behind qualifying leaders Romania, who narrowly beat the Faroe Islands 1-0, and are next up in Belfast in June for a crunch clash.

Eventful

O'Neill says he is delighted with journeyman Lafferty's performances for his country, with five goals in as many starts, despite his inconsistent club form.

"Kyle in the recent two years has moved a lot," O'Neill told Sky Sports. "Obviously, the situation at Rangers to go to Sion and then Sion to Palermo and now he's back at Norwich and out on loan at Rizespor, so he's had an eventful few years to say the least.

"I think that maybe did affect him a little bit in terms of his performances for Northern Ireland.

"In the last campaign he only played four games for us and he played well in those four games. He didn't score in those four games but I thought his performances were good and then due to injury and suspension.

"We obviously didn't have him for the other six games in the campaign which was a blow to us, but I think he's fully focused. He got off to a great start in the campaign in Hungary, setting up the equaliser and then scoring the winner, and he's not looked back.

"He's playing well in a Northern Ireland shirt and you see that in his whole demeanour, not just on the pitch but around the squad. He seems very happy. He's content with his football and playing with a smile on his face.

"When Kyle is in that frame of mind, he's a handful for any defender."


Headlines for Northern Ireland this week

        Latest Northern Ireland Fixtures               Latest Northern Ireland Results                 Latest Table

  • Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill hails striker Kyle Lafferty


  • Michael O'Neill has hailed striker Kyle Lafferty after his two goals helped put Northern Ireland firmly on course for their first major championships since 1986.

  • Michael O'Neill says Northern Ireland one game from qualifying for Euro 2016


  • Michael O'Neill believes a win against Romania in June will secure Northern Ireland's place at next year's European Championships.

  • Northern Ireland 2-1 Finland: Kyle Lafferty double cements second spot


  • Northern Ireland enhanced their chances of qualifying for Euro 2016 as Kyle Lafferty's double gave them a 2-1 win over Finland at Windsor Park.

  • Michael O'Neill the best manager I've played for, says Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty


  • ​Kyle Lafferty says Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill is the best manager he has ever played for, after the striker scored twice in the win over Finland.

  • Kyle Lafferty praises Northern Ireland display after win over Finland


  • Kyle Lafferty hailed an "excellent" team performance after his double edged Northern Ireland closer to Euro 2016 qualification with a 2-1 victory over Finland.

  • Michael O'Neill targets Euro Qualifier win over Romania after Northern Ireland beat Finland


  • Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill refused to get carried away after his side boosted their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2016 with a 2-1 win over Finland.

  • Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill ready for Finland clash


  • Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill will put friendship to one side when his team face Finland in Sunday's European Qualifier at Windsor Park.

  • Northern Ireland home form key to European qualification says Chris Brunt


  • Chris Brunt says Northern Ireland's home form will be the key as they look to secure qualification for Euro 2016.

  • Ben Reeves pulls out of Northern Ireland squad with calf injury


  • Northern Ireland defender Ben Reeves has been forced to pull out of the squad to face Finland after picking up a calf injury in Wednesday's 1-0 friendly defeat to Scotland.

  • Scotland 1-0 Northern Ireland: Berra's strike raises home spirits


  • Scotland beat Northern Ireland 1-0 in a friendly international at Hampden Park on Wednesday night thanks to Christophe Berra’s late header.

    Add Your Comments on the Story