Belfast Telegraph

New-boy Saville will do 'whatever I can' to help Northern Ireland to Russia

 

By Graham Luney

"It's quite an easy game to come into, to be fair, isn't it!" commented George Saville when summing up the prospect of tackling World champions Germany at Windsor Park tomorrow night.

The Millwall midfielder, along with Kilmarnock's Jordan Jones, must feel like they're living the dream as Northern Ireland close in on a play-off spot and the incredible prize of a place in the World Cup Finals in Russia next summer.

Saville has signalled his intent by stating: "I don't want to be here to make the numbers up."

It's that kind of hunger and determination that boss Michael O'Neill will warmly welcome.

The 24-year-old, who joined the Lions on a permanent deal earlier this summer, now plans to roar for Northern Ireland and seize his chance to catch O'Neill's eye during training for the showdown with Germany and then Norway on Sunday.

"It helps when the camp is happy," said Saville who qualifies to represent Northern Ireland through his grandmother, Emily Tarrant from Enniskillen.

"It's a good time for me to come in. Obviously I'm a bit late coming in, with two games left, but whatever I can bring to the table, I'll do whatever I can to get us over that line into the play-offs.

"There are obviously good players here, a few Premiership players with a lot of experience. We did a bit of training today and I've been impressed. It's quite an easy game to come into, to be fair, isn't it!

"It's a great experience and a great opportunity for me. Thursday night will be a great opportunity, whether I'm playing or not, coming on or not."

Saville was at Chelsea when Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers was a coach, and while at Stamford Bridge he featured for the reserve team and had loan spells with Millwall and Brentford.

He added: "I grew up playing at Chelsea, through the Academy, then I went on loan to Millwall, had a loan spell at Brentford for a year in League One when we got promoted. I then went on to sign for Wolves permanently.

"Brendan Rodgers was youth team manager and reserve team manager when I was in the younger age groups.

"I'm just an honest, hard-working midfielder, that's how I'd like to describe myself. I work hard, I like getting on the ball, and obviously this year I've done well and scored a few goals. That's my game as well."

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