Burnley hotshot Martin Paterson has promised to take the burden off Northern Ireland’s goalscoring sensation David Healy if given the chance to impress in tonight’s Battle of Britain and the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
The former Scunthorpe United hitman has scored three goals this season for the Clarets and plans to take his excellent club form into the international arena.
Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington, with a depleted squad to choose from this evening, is set to give striker Paterson his first start in an untested and untried 4-3-3 formation at Hampden Park. Worthington is of the opinion that our shocking away form must change immediately if we are to make an impact in the World Cup qualifiers and tonight goes about addressing that problem.
And Paterson insists he can help by getting in on the goalscoring act rather than always relying on Healy.
The 21-year-old does not hold the view that tonight’s game against Scotland is a meaningless friendly and is relishing the opportunity to pit his wits against a country ranked 16th in the world.
It will also be a welcome break for Paterson as Burnley are currently on a three-game losing streak.
“I’ve scored three from three games in the league so far and that’s all you can strive for as a striker,” admits Paterson, “Unfortunately we’ve lost those three games, haven’t performed and that is something that must be sorted out. We feel as though our season has started.
“Now though I want to concentrate only on doing well for Northern Ireland and I suppose this game is something of a relief for me. I take it as a great honour to be involved with Northern Ireland and I’m not really bothered if it’s a friendly or qualifier – I want to start every game.
“I moved away from Scunthorpe primarily because of what I want to achieve with the Northern Ireland team and now it’s a case of getting on the pitch and scoring goals. I do it at club and would dearly love to start scoring for Northern Ireland.”