Healy in line for Northern Ireland recall

IN THE FRAME: David Healy (left)
IN THE FRAME: David Healy (left)

MICHAEL O’Neill looks set to recall record goalscorer David Healy for this month’s World Cup qualifier against Portugal.

O’Neill will name his squad for the crunch Group F clash tomorrow and it is expected that Healy will be included.

The 33-year-old (right) missed the opening qualifiers against Russia and Luxembourg in September after being left without a club during the summer.

The striker – who has scored 35 goals in 93 appearances for his country – signed a one-year deal with English League One club Bury at the end of August. And following a number of first team appearances he could now force his way back into O’Neill’s thoughts.

Healy’s last appearance in a Northern Ireland jersey was in the summer friendly in Amsterdam against the Netherlands.

But with Derby County striker Jamie Ward out for the next fortnight with a hamstring injury, and Rangers forward Andrew Little also recovering from a foot injury, the door appears open for Healy.

Kyle Lafferty – who is currently with Swiss side FC Sion – is likely to lead the line against Portugal on October 16.

Burnley striker Martin Paterson – who missed the first two qualifiers through injury – could also return to O’Neill’s panel.

Healy played 65 minutes of Bury’s 2-2 draw against Stevenage at the weekend and was due to feature against Carlisle on Tuesday night before the game fell victim to the weather.

Recently Northern Ireland boss O’Neill said: “The main thing for David is for him to get back playing football again,” O’Neill said last month.

“But the door remains open for a player of his experience.”