Belfast Telegraph

Lafferty hoping for Canaries chance

Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty still hopes to be part of Norwich's Premier League plans, despite missing the second half of their promotion campaign.

Lafferty moved to Carrow Road last summer but struggled for game time in his preferred position of centre forward and ended up joining Turkish side Rizespor on loan in January.

The Canaries went on to book their top-flight return by defeating Middlesbrough in the play-off final, while a revitalised Lafferty has led his country's unexpected Euro 2016 push.

He has scored five times in his first six outings in Group F, turning in a handful of eye-catching displays.

Lafferty, 27, is now hoping to persuade Norwich boss Alex Neil he can do the same for him.

"Obviously I'm still a Norwich player so I'm going to go back, work hard to get into the manager's plans and see how it is," he said after Saturday's 0-0 draw against Romania.

"I'll go back, get a pre-season under my belt and see how he (Neil) wants to fit me in.

"He's asked my agent about me and it's good that he's keeping me in mind.

"I'll sit down with him and my agent and have a proper man-to-man talk. If he turns round and says he doesn't see me in his plans, I'll move on. Obviously I'll be disappointed because Norwich is a fantastic club and the fans have been brilliant with me, but it's one of those decisions you have to make and we'll see what happens."

Lafferty, meanwhile, is revelling in his leading man status for Northern Ireland.

His goals have been key to the side's haul of 13 points from six matches in Group F, leaving them in second place and in sight of a first major tournament in 30 years.

"We know how close we are. All the lads are itching for it," he said.

"With the trust (manager) Michael (O'Neill) has shown in me, I'm so excited to play for him every time. I just can't wait to pull on the shirt for him.

"We're so close and everyone is starting to believe we can make it. I'm sure we will."


From Belfast Telegraph