Inverness striker Billy McKay will look back on his first year as an international footballer with mixed feelings.
McKay, 24, was drafted into Northern Ireland’s senior squad for the first time by manager Michael O’Neill last November having hit a purple patch of form for Caley Thistle.
The goals kept flowing - 27 of them last season and nine more already this term - and he quickly became a regular feature of O’Neill’s group.
McKay is likely to be in contention for a starting spot as O’Neill ponders changes for the final World Cup qualifier in Israel on Tuesday night, but has so far been limited to three substitute appearances - the last two in defeats to Luxembourg and Azerbaijan.
“I suppose it’s been a bit of a mixed bag,” he said.
“It’s been great to be involved for the first time at this level but the results haven’t been great. I think the performances have been good and we’re close to getting the results.
“Now I just want to keep performing well for my club and continue getting called up. The more times I come away the more chance I have of playing.”
McKay has only had one serious chance to score to date, but had he succeeded it could have been a vital contribution.
He had a one-on-one with the Luxembourg goalkeeper with the score at 1-1 but took one too many touches and failed to convert.
“If a few things had gone differently it might have been another story,” he said.
“I’ve only played three games - 13 minutes, 15 minutes, 25 minutes - and had one good chance against Luxembourg but I should have scored.
“If we’d gone 2-1 up in Luxembourg it’s a different game altogether. We could have sat back and seen it out but it wasn’t to be.”