Northern Ireland star David Healy has hit back at critics claiming he is suffering a goal drought.
Writing in his Belfast Telegraph column, Healy expressed his disappointment at those suggesting he is out of sorts at the moment.
Wednesday night’s 0-0 draw at home to the Czech Republic in a World Cup qualifier was the third game in succession that Healy has not hit the target for Northern Ireland.
But given that he has hit a record breaking 34 goals for Northern Ireland in just 67 internationals, it is hardly a crisis unlike when under Sammy McIlroy the team went 1298 minutes without scoring.
Sunderland ace Healy said: “It’s been a strange week for me because reading some of the papers it seems I have gone from a national hero to an out of sorts striker who is having a goal drought! That has been disappointing.
“I haven’t scored for THREE internationals. I don’t think that’s a drought.
“I know all about droughts in international football. I remember the days when Northern Ireland didn’t score for 13 games or so and I played in all those games. Now that’s a drought!
“Yes, I missed a penalty in Scotland (last month) and I believe I could have done better on a couple of occasions against Slovakia (last weekend) but I’m certainly not worried about my strike rate at international level.
“I have a ratio of a goal every two games for Northern Ireland, which isn’t too bad in my book.”
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland skipper Aaron Hughes has backed his side to climb up World Cup qualifying group three after a spirited show against the Czech Republic
"If we keep playing like that we will get our rewards in the future.
"We now have a point on the board and it is important to build on this performance in the next two qualifiers.
"This is a tough group but points will be dropped by all sides, I am sure. Hopefully we will not drop too many."