MICHAEL Duffy is hoping he can impress Michael O’Neill enough to earn himself a first senior international cap in Northern Ireland’s double header at Windsor Park.
The 22 year-old Derry man felt he would struggle to get back into the international set-up after injury forced him to withdraw from O’Neill’s squad ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Czech Republic in Prague last September.
However, he’s since battled back from that troublesome thigh injury and forced his way back into contention with SPL club, Dundee.
So he was understandably ‘delighted’ to receive the call from N. Ireland boss, O’Neill this week to inform him of his inclusion in the squad for tonight’s crunch Group C clash against Azerbaijan and Tuesday’s friendly against Croatia.
And the Celtic loanee is determined to make the most of his latest chance and ensure he becomes a regular feature in O’Neill’s squad in the future.
“I was only in the squad for a day the last time around before I got injured and I haven’t played much with Dundee since then,” said the Galliagh man.
I’ve struggled to get back in to the team since. So it’s good that I’ve got my chance against with the N. Ireland squad again.Michael Duffy
“I’ve struggled to get back in to the team since. So it’s good that I’ve got my chance against with the N. Ireland squad again. I knew it would be tough to get back into the team as it’s a big squad. But I was always confident that I could be there or there abouts if I kept playing. It’s been tough coming back after the injury,” he added. “The team were going through a tough phase at Dundee and now the past few games the boys have been playing well and the team has been winning, so the team has been staying the same. I just have to dig in and work hard to get back in. I just finished training with the N. Ireland squad and it was a light enough session as obviously we have the game tomorrow but it’s great to be involved. I’m just buzzing to get the call-up.
“I’m hoping to do well in training and hopefully he’ll (O’Neill) give me a chance on Tuesday to show what I can do and maybe I can stay in the squad.”