Two Canaries’ keepers in international action, while Pukki scores in Finland win
- Credit: AP
Norwich City keeper Michael McGovern says he will not consider international retirement from the Northern Ireland squad while “emotions are running high”.
The 36-year-old was speaking ahead of a rare appearance in goal for the Irish in a 2-1 Nations League defeat against Austria in Vienna on Sunday night.
“I haven’t played as much as I would have liked in recent years so I definitely value these matches,” said McGovern, whose back-up role at Norwich has seen him start just 20 league games in the last four years,
But he says Northern Ireland’s experienced players need to take time to consider their futures after the pain of their Euro 2020 qualifying play-off defeat last week.
The likes of McGovern and former Canaries striker Kyle Lafferty, 33, are said to be considering their international futures now, but McGovern insists any such thoughts need to happen with 2022 World Cup qualification, starting in March, in mind.
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“It’s not a conversation we have had among the players and now is probably not the right time to talk about that side of things whenever emotions are running high,” he said.
“When you are thinking about such an important decision you have to make it from a very neutral stance and when you are not so emotionally charged, which has been the case over the last few days.
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“It would be nice for everyone to continue and play on. By the end of this current season we will be a third of the way through the World Cup campaign. You are not talking about four years. It is a very quick turnaround to the next campaign. It would be nice for the boys to stay together but times move on, and if people move it is disappointing, but you have to respect their decision.”
A number of other Canaries were in National League action over the weekend.
Teemu Pukki scored after just seven minutes for Finland in a 2-1 win in Bulgaria and Tim Krul was in goal as Holland beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 3-1. Kenny McLean played the full game as Scotland lost 1-0 to Slovakia. Adam Idah played 75 minutes of the Republic of Ireland’s 1-0 defeat to Wales.