Belfast Telegraph

Windsor hero Josh Magennis must carry on scoring

By Steven Beacom

Josh Magennis will forever be associated with the historic night Northern Ireland qualified for the European Championship finals.

The Kilmarnock striker, playing in attack instead of the suspended Kyle Lafferty, netted his first international goal in the famous 3-1 victory over Greece at Windsor Park.

He had entered the game earlier this month with people talking about him starting his career as a goalkeeper and ended it as a goalscoring hero.

Nothing new to Kilmarnock supporters, who had watched him net three times in four matches prior to meeting up with the international squad.

Magennis, a bubbly character and well liked by his Northern Ireland team-mates, is determined to keep the feelgood factor going with more goals for club and country leading towards the Euro 2016 finals.

Kilmarnock boss Gary Locke, whose side host Inverness in the Scottish Premiership today, will demand the same.

He said: "Josh has done great to get his first international goal, but I am pretty sure he will be aware that he needs to continue that form between now and the summer. That will be good for him and for us. Hopefully he can maintain the scoring form he has shown of late."

Meanwhile, after Lafferty said if he has to leave Norwich to play first-team football ahead of next year's finals he will do so, Canaries boss Alex Neil has insisted he will be the one to decide if or when the Kesh man departs.

Championship sides Leeds and Bolton, managed by Neil Lennon, are watching developments.

Last night, some Northern Ireland stars returned to club action. Jamie Ward came off the bench in Nottingham Forest's 2-0 Championship defeat at Bristol City while Liam Boyce had a fine game in Ross County's 2-0 Scottish Premiership win over Aberdeen, who had Niall McGinn on the wing.

Belfast Telegraph