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Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill believes Norwich City striker Kyle Lafferty deserves more minutes ahead of Euros

Kyle Lafferty heads for goal. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Kyle Lafferty heads for goal. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Kyle Lafferty needs more game-time before next summer’s Euro 2016 finals, either at Norwich City or elsewhere – according to his Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill.

Lafferty has barely featured for Alex Neil’s side so far this season, playing the final 18 minutes of City’s FA Cup exit on Saturday and a total of just 27 minutes in the Premier League. His one goal for City this season came in the Capital One Cup victory over West Brom.

In stark contrast, the front man managed seven goals in just nine matches for his country to help them qualify for the finals of a major tournament for the first time since 1986.

Leeds have enquired about taking Lafferty on loan for the rest of the season but the City boss will only consider a permanent switch for the 28-year-old during the current window. All of which could restrict Lafferty’s chances to prepare in the best way possible for his exciting summer ahead.

“It has been a very difficult time for him because at Norwich, I do not think he has had much opportunity,” O’Neill told Goals on Sunday.

“He spent six months on loan at Caykur Rizespor in Turkey last year primarily to get games so that he would be able to play, and be at his best in the international games – and he was fantastic against Finland, scored two great goals for us, and played well against Romania in June for us as well.

“So I think his situation – it is not ideal for him. Club managers have a difficult job, they have to pick their squad however they feel.

“But certainly in his case, I do not think he has had very much opportunity. The minutes have been very, very limited.

“And I just hope whether it is at Norwich or not, that between now and the finals he gets the opportunity to show what a good player he is, because for us he has been absolutely phenomenal.”

Follow Michael Bailey on Twitter @michaeljbailey

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12 comments

  • I'd say "Laffers; let's be 'avin' you". Actually, I think it would be the manager who'd have problems knowing what to say. I remember fans clamouring for Clueless Chrissie to give Josh Murphy a game. Eventually he did - away at ManU. In the days when ManU were good. B Inners has yet to defend himself. Being a typically non-judgemental MOG, I still have not ruled out irony. On a recent rerun of an episode of Stevie Fry's QI, mention was made of unusual punctuation marks, including the "Interrobang" (aka "Querybang") and the "Sarcastrophe". It seems the interrobang is actually used on some typewriter\PC keyboards. A ^sarcastrophe^ is done thus. Phew!? Glad that Stephen Fry moment was fleet in the passing.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 11, 2016

  • If Lafferty had come on at half-time then who knows what would have happened with two up. But it would surely have fired up the crowd and that may have got to the team and who knows. Redmond and Lafferty on at half time - well, we'll never know.

    Report this comment

    Surrey Canary

    Monday, January 11, 2016

  • So, possibly a bit of brinkmanship from young Alex. What would the comments have been on here if Kyle had scored a couple of goals on Saturday?

    Report this comment

    Letsby Avenue

    Monday, January 11, 2016

  • B Inners. You are joking. Please say you are before a proper binner sees your comment and thinks us all as silly as your comment!

    Report this comment

    Chris69

    Monday, January 11, 2016

  • B Inners - wrong M. O'Neill. This one is Michael (Northern Ireland), the other one is Martin( Republic of Ireland) and ex NCFC player & manager. Albeit briefly. He was Chased out. Waclor, enjoyed the outlandish Caledonian-focused xenophobia. Our old pal Timbo McNaughtie would've loved it. Where is he?? Hi Lobbo. I'm not yet over the loss of Li'l Benno. :-(. Btw: Apologies to BI if I failed to recognise an intended irony. Btbtw; I've had the pleasure of meeting waclor, just once, and he's most certainly neither ignorant nor stupid. A most urbane and erudite chap.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 11, 2016

  • Waclor , I'm sure you couldn't be stupid and ignorant enough to suggest that Neil would pick Lafferty if he was Scottish. I get the impression that Neil wouldn't pick Lafferty if he was his little brother. The reason? Like poor Becchio before him, Lafferty simply isn't good enough.

    Report this comment

    PaulWho

    Sunday, January 10, 2016

  • Agree with Derby Canary MO forfeited any say in NCFC affairs when he walked out. Mind your business

    Report this comment

    B Inners

    Sunday, January 10, 2016

  • He will go 'byrceland', it's a game of chess. AN would rather Leeds have him lock, stock and all that, but when it comes down to the wee hours of the window, (and Mr Evans knows that) if a loan deal is all that's left on the table, then a loan deal it shall be. A full transfer would be better for us and Mr Lafferty, but if Leeds haven't got the spendolas ( which I suspect they don't) etc, etc.etc.

    Report this comment

    Lobbo

    Sunday, January 10, 2016

  • Give the guy a chance he needs game time ,if we know he isn't in the team then let him go .All the best Laffs .

    Report this comment

    bryceland

    Sunday, January 10, 2016

  • I wonder about that Surrey, perhaps Norwich are concerned with the level of wages due in the Summer months after any loans have ended. Should KL go to Leeds on loan and be a disappointment, the chances of offloading him would be reduced. When is he out of contract? I also have these dreadful thoughts that had Kyle been born in a different English colony, had helped Scotland to the Euros and was looking for match time to boost his (and their) performance next June, Alex may have a different view. Rather like playing Martin at centreback to please Mr Strachan. No no silly me that can't be true.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Sunday, January 10, 2016

  • I'm confused - does AN want Lafferty or not? That is all that matters. If he is loaned to Leeds he's off our wage bill and then depending on how well he plays will be a decision on a transfer. Why the all or nothing attitude being suggested in the article above? If AN really wants to keep Lafferty then he has to give him game time and yesterday was when he should have played. He has started Grabban who clearly doesn't have much of a future at City - he's not even making the bench now. Too much faffing about it seems to me.

    Report this comment

    Surrey Canary

    Sunday, January 10, 2016

  • Quite frankly it's none of his business

    Report this comment

    DerbyCanary

    Sunday, January 10, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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