WHILE SPECULATION over Lee Camp’s international career continues to murmur, Andy Little has said he will continue to strive for the top.
The Rangers striker is determined to be one of Northern Ireland’s leading stars in manager Michael O’Neill’s crusade to inject some positive, attacking strategies into their game.
“I do think I will end up up-top and that’s where I want to be, but I have always said I will play wherever I am needed to. I don’t have a problem with positions,” he said.
“In terms of scoring goals I am full of confidence, playing a game every week and starting pretty regularly is really good.
“That’s what you need for match fitness and goals are a great bonus on top of that. I want to bring that into Northern Ireland; I want to get my first goal as I have ten caps and I do think it’s about time.”
Nottingham Forest’s Camp, meanwhile, quit the squad yesterday, citing personal reasons.
But given the uncertainty over whether he could ever return, many believe it’s a case of sour grapes for the goalkeeper who has been snubbed in favour of Olympiakos ace Roy Carroll.
Camp also declared for Northern Ireland when his native England looked unlikely to come calling, and Maik Taylor was approaching retirement.
Little, however, relishes the competition and has vowed to put the work in.
He has also rubbished suggestions playing in the Scottish third division has hampered his game, believing he is one of the best forward options – now, and for the future.
“I hope I start on Tuesday against Luxembourg. It wont be an easy game under any circumstances. Against Portugal they showed it would be a difficult game for us but if it is goals we’re looking for, I want to contribute to that.
“Obviously when administration kicked in (at Rangers), it was backs against the wall but it was pressure and I kind of enjoyed that, it was up to us to fight back and I really enjoyed the games and goals I got last season.
“This season has been the same, fans have been unbelievable, never seen so much positivity at the team, everyone said it would be doom and gloom in 3rd division but in a strange way it has been the opposite from that.”
It’s Little’s former Rangers team-mate, Kyle Lafferty, who he’s earmarked as competition for a striker’s place, but who he also believes will be crucial to Northern Ireland’s World Cup qualifying campaign.
“I think Kyle has been very good, it was a tough job he had up there on his own against Russia and I know what it is like, but he looked good, fit, sharp and will be hoping to get onto the score sheet on Tuesday.
“For that to happen though we need to create the chances for him so it is down to the team to give him the service.
“He definitely looks fit, not sure if you could tell if he’d improved since he left Rangers but he was affected by injuries, personally it has been good for me too as I’ve managed to stay fit.”
Now having recorded eight starts for the first time in his professional career, Little is focused on making being a big fish in a small Scottish division work for him.
“It was a great decision to stay, it’s the first time I have ever made eight starts in a row and that has been the focus of the season, to play 40 or more games if I can.
“Fortunately, the club can postpone a domestic game over international period if they have three or more players out on duty, so I am not too worried about missing games.
“The most important thing is staying fit.”