Belfast Telegraph

I'll make up for miss, says NI star Paterson

Northern Ireland striker Martin Paterson is confident he will deliver the goods at Windsor Park in the crunch World Cup clash with Slovakia.

With Kyle Lafferty expected to miss Wednesday’s crucial clash due to a knee injury, Paterson is likely to partner David Healy in attack in what will be the most important game Northern Ireland have played since the World Cup finals in 1986.

The Burnley front man could have been going into the Slovakian game having scored the clinching goal in Poland on Saturday, but he missed a terrific chance to make it 2-0, after Lafferty had given the visitors a first half lead, and the pain was increased when the Poles equalised to make it 1-1 at the finish.

Manager Nigel Worthington and the players have rallied round Paterson and the man himself has enough confidence in his ability to believe he can bounce back on Wednesday night.

And why not? After all, he scored a hatful of goals last season to help Burnley into the Premiership.

“I am a bit down at the moment because I think I’ve let the lads down a little bit by not scoring my chance, but I will come good,” said Paterson.

“I was one versus one with Artur Boruc and I tried to slide it past him but sometimes that’s how it goes. I was really disappointed after the game but I believe my luck will turn.”

As for Lafferty, who was superb in Poland, there are fears that he could be ruled out of the rest of the qualifying campaign which ends next month.

Worthington is already without Warren Feeney, who is recovering from a hip operation, and Andy Little, who pulled out of the squad last week. Billy Kee, an 18-year-old striker from Accrington Stanley, has been called up as cover.

Belfast Telegraph


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