Norwich City’s Kyle Lafferty has his eye on summer move
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Kyle Lafferty cannot wait for his star turn at this summer's European Championship – and plans to put himself in the shop window for any potential suitors.
Much was made last season of the striker's limited involvement with Norwich City, making one appearance in each of the Canaries' three competitions for Alex Neil – scoring one goal.
That was in the context of the 28-year-old's international form, taking his tally to 16 goals in 49 caps with seven strikes coming in Northern Ireland's successful Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.
Now Lafferty plans to make his mark in France and see where that takes him, having spent the latter part of last season on loan at Birmingham.
'I have done some extra training and I feel a lot fitter than I was in the second half of the qualifying campaign,' said Lafferty. 'I know if I'm not on my game it is going to affect the whole team, but I'm ready to go. If I'm in the starting XI, I know with our team-mates I will get chances. I feel confident going into every game now.
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'I'm going to play against some of the best defenders in the world in the first tournament Northern Ireland has featured in the last 30 years, and I'm in the shop window. So I will be up for every game and I'm raring to go.'
Lafferty could earn his 50th cap in Friday night's friendly against Belarus at Windsor Park, before their final warm-up in Slovakia. But the striker admitted: 'I should have reached 50 caps a long time ago. Maybe in the first few years of my international career, I took the mick really. I turned up whenever I wanted, messed about and wasn't concentrating on things.
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'The last two or three years I have settled down and got my head sorted. I'm turning up for every single game. I started nine games out of 10 in qualifying which was great for me.
'To score seven goals was amazing and it helped the team to qualify. My discipline has improved and I'm a lot happier. I've had conversations with Michael (O'Neill, manager) and he has made me realise how important I am to the team. The players have made me feel wanted as well and I am feeling the benefit of it.'