Belfast Telegraph

Lafferty hungry to get back in the goal routine with Sarpsborg

New challenge: Kyle Lafferty is excited by his latest move
New challenge: Kyle Lafferty is excited by his latest move

By Graham Luney

Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty is relishing the opportunity to reignite his career with Norwegian club Sarpsborg 08.

The well-travelled Fermanagh man has also had spells at Burnley, Swiss club Sion, Palermo, Norwich, Turkish outfit Caykur Rizespor and Birmingham City.

But his return to Rangers didn't go according to plan and the 31-year-old was released by boss Steven Gerrard in July.

Sarpsborg are bottom of the Norwegian Eliteserien having won just two of 19 league games this season, but Lafferty, who has scored 20 goals in 73 Northern Ireland appearances, will be out to prove he remains a threat.

The timing is crucial as it comes before Michael O'Neill names his Northern Ireland squad today for the friendly against Luxembourg and Euro 2020 qualifier against Germany.

"I'm here to score goals and work really hard for the team and the club that I've got a really good impression of," said Lafferty. "Despite the loss to Stromsgodset, it was a positive. The team may not have played their best game, but there were opportunities for scoring there.

"I want to come up with something different and an experience I hope the team will enjoy. I hope we can start on Sunday (at home to mid-table Viking) with three points and maybe a goal or two.

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"I'm a big, strong striker. I know tough battles are coming, but I'm always ready for a fight."

Meanwhile, another Enniskillen-born player, Ben Hall, has signed a deal with Partick Thistle until January after being released by Brighton.

Hearts full-back Michael Smith is a fitness concern for O'Neill after limping off against Celtic with a hamstring injury.

Motherwell's Liam Donnelly will be included in the Northern Ireland squad.

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