Belfast Telegraph

Jamal Lewis has plans to cement Northern Ireland starting spot

 

Jamal Lewis
Jamal Lewis

By Steven Beacom

Jamal Lewis is intent on making the left-back spot his own for Northern Ireland following the international retirement of Chris Brunt.

The West Bromwich Albion skipper called time on his international career last month leaving a hole for boss Michael O'Neill to fill.

Norwich youngster Lewis says he would have liked Brunt to stick around to learn from him and pick his brains about the position, but in his absence, the 20-year-old is determined to become a regular in the team.

He did himself no harm at all on Saturday at Windsor Park helping Northern Ireland dominate during the 2-1 Nations Cup defeat to Bosnia & Herzegovina with a stirring performance at left-back linking up well with the outstanding Stuart Dallas.

It was a second cap for Lewis after making his debut in the 2-1 friendly win over South Korea in March.

"It would have been brilliant to learn from Chris Brunt a little bit and pick his mind about a few things," said Lewis.

"Obviously he's a brilliant player and very experienced. Now I just want to make this left-back spot my own and help the team as much as possible, kick on and get some wins.

"I think on Saturday I could show a little bit more of what I could do. In the South Korea game I was a little bit nervous and the pitch wasn't as good. This time it was a re-laid pitch so we could play a little bit of football.

"It was one of the most one-sided games I've ever been involved in and was very enjoyable. It is unfortunate that a couple of times we switched off at the back and they punished us but that 's international football.

"It was a promising performance and we showed the fans we can create a lot of chances while playing some good football.

"Hopefully, we can continue to bring that to games and get wins."

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