Unhappy Kyle Lafferty labels Norwich City spell 'toughest of his career'
PUBLISHED: 10:07 10 October 2016 | UPDATED: 14:22 10 October 2016
Kyle Lafferty feels his lack of action at Norwich City is now starting to limit his influence for Northern Ireland despite a goalscoring double in his country's latest 2018 World Cup qualifying win over San Marino.
Lafferty came off the bench to help seal a 4-0 win in Belfast on Saturday but the 29-year-old would not be surprised to be omitted again for Tuesday’s daunting away test against the World Champions, Germany.
Lafferty remains a peripheral figure under Alex Neil at Carrow Road with only one start for his club this season in the EFL Cup win over Coventry City.
“It probably is the toughest time of my career,” said Lafferty. “I want to play as many games for Northern Ireland as I can. With not starting, I’m always going to be disappointed. I have to respect my team-mates and the decision of the manager. If he says I’m not fit enough, if he sees I’m going to be better for the team playing 30 minutes and not starting, I have to respect that.”
Lafferty admits international boss Michael O’Neill’s backing has helped him through a difficult period for his club.
“I have a manager who has a lot of faith in me,” he said. “He has made me the focal point of the team and put a lot of trust in me. When you are a player and have someone like that behind you it gives you a confidence boost and someone to go out and please. It’s always good.
“I know my international record compared to club football is completely different and that’s probably down to in club football I don’t really have a manager who has a lot of faith in me like Michael has in me and I’m repaying Michael by getting goals and getting three points.
“I respect Michael and every decision he makes, whether it disappoints me or not, because we have a good relationship but it has probably played in my favour coming off the bench and scoring two and getting an assist. As I’ve said before it’s not all about me. There are players playing club football and if I was in their shoes I’d be asking questions why I wasn’t starting.”