Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Irish Look to Striker Healy; Ulstermen Hoping to Benefit against Group Minnows

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Irish Look to Striker Healy; Ulstermen Hoping to Benefit against Group Minnows

Article excerpt

Byline: KEN GAUNT

NORTHERN Ireland manager Nigel Worthington is banking on David Healy and Kyle Lafferty to get their team's World Cup campaign back on track, writes KEN GAUNT.

After the 2-0 defeat in Slovenia, the province have failed to find the target in 270 minutes - they benefited from an own goal in the defeat by Slovakia.

Healy scored a record 13 times in the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign but was again left frustrated on Saturday, and a lack of appearances for Sunderland is not helping the Ulstermen's talisman.

Lafferty, who missed the draw with the Czech Republic, put in a hard shift but should have scored in the second half when one on one with Samir Handanovic.

Instead, the Rangers striker sent his effort into the goalkeeper's chest. It proved a crucial moment in the match.

Slovenia went on to win thanks to goals from the in-form Milivoje Novakovic and substitute Zlatan Ljubijankic in the 84th and 85th minutes.

The likes of Martin Paterson - seven goals in 13 games for Burnley - Warren Feeney and Peter Thompson are all eager to step into the Ulstermen's attack.

But Worthington had nothing but praise for the way Healy and Lafferty went about their business at the Ljudski VRT Stadium.

He said: "We created the better chances, and I thought David looked more like himself.

"He was sharp and lively. He had a little dink in the second half when the ball hit the top of the net. That is what he is about.

"As for Kyle, he was tremendous. He was powerful and quick throughout the game. He was a handful for the Slovenia back line.

"However, we do need to turn chances into goals if we are to get our campaign up and running.

"At the moment, we are playing catchup in the group."

Captain Aaron Hughes is also backing the Healy-Lafferty partnership to deliver.

"It is good to have Kyle back, because he is a player that gives you

that extra option," said the Fulham defender.

"Kyle will be able to help David with his knock-downs. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.