Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland hitman Lafferty hoping to battle into Neil's plans for Norwich

By Stuart McKinley

Kyle Lafferty wants to help Norwich City establish themselves as a Premier League club - but he knows he might not get the chance.

Canaries manager Alex Neil sent the Northern Ireland striker out on loan to Turkish club Çaykur Rizespor in February, less than a month after he took charge at Carrow Road.

And with Congo international Dieumerci Mbokani arriving from Dynamo Kiev in the final hours of the transfer window, Lafferty appears to have dropped further down the pecking order.

A knee injury has damaged the former Rangers ace's chances of making an impression in pre-season and a move didn't materialise before Tuesday's deadline.

He can put himself in the shop window in Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 qualifiers against the Faroe Islands tomorrow night and Hungary next Monday. He is also in the fortunate situation of being able to join a Championship club on loan if he is left out in the cold, but the Fermanagh man's future isn't in his own hands.

"I'm just letting my agent work away with Norwich and see what happens," said Lafferty.

"I'm here and I am focused 100 per cent on these two games and if I don't move anywhere I will work my socks off and try to get into the Norwich squad and play a part in the season somehow.

"If not I'll just keep working hard and then see what comes up.

"They have signed another striker from Dynamo Kiev, but competition is good.

"The manager has spoken to me a few times and he's said he knows what he'll get from me, but I can't fault the other strikers because they have been scoring goals when I haven't been there and they've done well for the club, so I have to bide my time and when the chance comes along take it."

Lafferty has become Northern Ireland's talisman in the Euro 2016 campaign and manager Michael O'Neill has found a way to get the best out of him.

"It's always nice to come away with the international squad knowing that the manager trusts you and I have a chance of playing," he added.

Belfast Telegraph