Belfast Telegraph

Billy McKay: I would love to be put on the spot

By Rory Dollard

BILLY McKay would happily volunteer as Northern Ireland's penalty-taker should they get a spot-kick against Israel tomorrow, despite missing his last three for Inverness.

McKay has continued his prolific club form from last season with nine goals in 10 matches for Caley Thistle.

Despite that record, his radar has gone on the blink from 12 yards, with manager Terry Butcher handing penalty duties back to James Vincent.

But McKay would not shirk if the chance came to register his first international goal in Tel Aviv.

"I had a good record on penalties, scoring seven out of seven but I've missed the last three.

"I'm off them for Inverness now but I'd still want to take one if it came up.

"Having said that, it would probably be up to the senior guys."

McKay (24) has made three substitute appearances for Northern Ireland and although he has enjoyed limited playing time he admits he is hankering after his first successful strike.

"I think about it every time," he said.

"I want to come away and score goals because I'm a striker. I think everyone knows as a striker it's all about getting that first goal and then you can relax and they will start to come.

"I've only played three games –13 minutes, 15 minutes, 25 minutes – and had one good chance against Luxembourg.

"I should have scored and hopefully I can get another chance soon and put it away.

"It's been good to get some minutes. Michael O'Neill comes to watch me for Inverness too so he's starting to learn more about me as a player. It's great getting on the pitch but hopefully I can get on in different circumstances, when we're winning, and get on the scoresheet soon."

McKay, who signed for Inverness on a free in 2011, could be in contention for a start in Tel Aviv.

O'Neill is likely to shake the side up for the final Group F fixture and, with Martin Paterson carrying a slight knock, McKay might prove a tempting option.

Belfast Telegraph


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