Kyle Lafferty is weighing up his Norwich City options ahead of January transfer scramble
- Credit: PA
Norwich City's out-of-favour striker Kyle Lafferty knows his club future has to be sorted in January to spearhead Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 charge.
Lafferty is currently with Michael O'Neill's squad preparing for Friday's friendly against Latvia in Belfast as his country gear up for their first-ever appearance at next summer's European Championship finals in France.
The 28-year-old's seven goals in qualifying were a major factor in Northern Ireland's success, but Lafferty remains a bit part player under Alex Neil at Carrow Road, with the striker an unused substitute in last weekend's 1-0 Premier League win over Swansea. The former Rangers' forward has played only 13 minutes of Premier League football for the club this season and knows that has to change to be ready for Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 tilt.
'Euro 2016 may be my only major tournament so I want to be in the best shape of my life and need to be playing to do that,' he said. 'It is difficult at my club at present with not playing, but I will keep training and working away in the hope I get my chance.
'I'm going to have to sit down with the manager (Alex Neil) in January and have a discussion. I know that I will need to play football in the new year and going into the Euros. I'd love to be playing at Norwich but if I have to go out on loan or be sold to play football that might be the way it will be.'
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Lafferty's prolific spell for his country in recent months has pushed him up to second on the all-time list of Northern Ireland goalscorers.
'I feel great pride,' Lafferty told the Belfast Telegraph. 'To have passed so many greats like George Best is fantastic. I want to keep scoring for my country. We have a few friendly games coming up in the months ahead and I want to maintain my form in the run up to the finals and make an impact when I'm there.
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'I believe I have two or three more campaigns left in me so I will try to score as many goals as I can and keep performing well for Northern Ireland.
'I don't know if I will get anywhere near David Healy. In many ways I think he should have the record because of what he has done for the country on and off the pitch. He was always there scoring goals for Northern Ireland even in tough times.'