Euro 2016: Norwich City striker Kyle Lafferty not bitter at Northern Ireland snub
PUBLISHED: 06:30 21 June 2016
Kyle Lafferty insists he is not bitter about his Northern Ireland snub as the Norwich City striker braces himself for another watching brief in Tuesday’s crunch Euro 2016 clash against Germany (KO 5pm).
Michael O’Neill’s squad will look to shock the world champions to qualify for the knock-out stages, but Lafferty does not expect a recall after being one of five changes for the historic 2-0 Group C win over Ukraine. The 28-year-old’s seven goals in qualifying fired his country to their first-ever European Championship finals but Lafferty is adamant he should not get special treatment.
“It’s not about me, it’s never been about me,” he said. “Of course I was disappointed not to play in our biggest game in 30 years. I knew from the start of the campaign that my position wasn’t guaranteed and this proved it.
“There are 23 players in the squad and none of us think we are guaranteed a place. I might have scored goals and played a massive part in getting us here but that means nothing now.
“We are at the Euros now and if the manager thinks someone should start ahead of me then I will have nothing to say. I respect the manager’s decision. I still have to work my socks off in training to have a chance of playing.
“To be a Northern Ireland fan and watching that performance was amazing and we really deserved it. I’m disappointed for myself but, hand on heart, the call the manager made was superb. He put out the 11 men he thought could do a job and it worked. I can’t complain about that.”
Lafferty admits Northern Ireland will have to scale fresh heights to upset the much-fancied Germans.
“They have amazing players; probably some of the best in the world and some of the best defenders in the world,” he said. “We won’t be afraid of this game at all. We’ve lost one out of our last 13 and we’ve five clean sheets out of seven games. I’m sure it will be an exciting game and a massive day for everyone.”