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I will be ready for Northern Ireland, says Kyle Lafferty

By Steven Beacom

Published 26/08/2015

Northern Ireland star Kyle Lafferty
Northern Ireland star Kyle Lafferty

Kyle Lafferty has given Northern Ireland supporters a timely boost by declaring he is fully fit and raring to go for next month's crucial Euro 2016 qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Hungary.

Lafferty has yet to play for Norwich City this season due to a knee injury, but having returned to first team training on Monday, he is clearly feeling optimistic about continuing his outstanding form in the campaign so far.

Lafferty, who has scored five goals in the six Group F Euro qualifiers to date, was not included in Norwich's squad for their Capital Cup victory at Rotherham last night but will be named in the Northern Ireland squad today for those massive September clashes which will go a long way to determining if Michael O'Neill's side make it to next year's finals in France.

The Fermanagh man, expected to leave Norwich either on loan or permanently in the coming weeks, tweeted: "I am back fully fit and buzzing to get on the pitch again..."

He included the hashtag GAWA (Green and White Army) in a clear message to relieved Northern Ireland fans.

There was not such good news for another of O'Neill's players, Chris Brunt who was injured early on during West Brom's penalty shoot-out success over Port Vale at the Hawthorns.

Brunt left the pitch in the 13th minute with a hamstring problem and could be doubtful for the trip to the Faroes on September 4 and the home game with Hungary three days later.

WBA's joint assistant head coach Dave Kemp said last night: "It was a tight hamstring. It wasn't pulled or anything and we will just keep our fingers crossed."

So will O'Neill, who knows two victories in the next two games can take Northern Ireland to their first major finals since the 1986 World Cup.

Belfast Telegraph

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