Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Homecoming hero David Healy has target to aim for

David Healy

After Aaron Hughes and Chris Baird's homecoming last night for Fulham against Crusaders, another pair of Northern Ireland internationals will return to Belfast tomorrow as Rangers play a friendly against Linfield.

While Andrew Little and Kyle Lafferty remain sidelined with injury, both Steven Davis and Northern Ireland's record goal-scorer David Healy will hope to be involved against the Irish League champions.

And new Gers boss Ally McCoist will be demanding an improvement after his side failed to score a single goal on their pre-season tour of Germany.

After Wednesday's defeat to Bayer Leverkusen, their third straight loss, McCoist said: "Maybe results mean a lot to people right now, but not to me.

"The result disappoints us - that goes without saying. But a number of factors really pleased us."

Nevertheless, with the first SPL game of the season against Hearts on July 23 looming, he will be hoping his strikers start finding the net soon.

And Healy would love to be the man to break the duck after signing a permanent deal with his boyhood heroes following last season's loan spell.

The Killyleagh forward penned the one-year deal last month despite frequently finding himself on the bench at Ibrox under former boss Walter Smith, scoring his only goal after appearing as a substitute on his debut against Motherwell in February.

But the 31-year-old will be looking to impress McCoist and knows all about performing in front of the Windsor Park faithful having netted 17 of a record-breaking 35 goals for his country at the s outh Belfast stadium, including a hat-trick against Spain and the winner in a victory over England.

However, he hasn't added to his Windsor total since hitting the opener in a four-goal victory over San Marino in October of 2008 and, despite a spate of withdrawals from senior players, wasn't selected by Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington for the Carling Nations Cup games against the Republic of Ireland and Wales in May.

With only one friendly remaining after tomorrow's game, Healy will be looking to fire himself into the reckoning for both club and country.

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