DERRY CITY: Burnley man putting summer holiday plans on hold

Burnley's Defender Daniel Lafferty has been recalled back to Burnley after a recent successful loan spell with Oldham Athleic. Picture by Ben Parsons
Burnley's Defender Daniel Lafferty has been recalled back to Burnley after a recent successful loan spell with Oldham Athleic. Picture by Ben Parsons

Former Derry City man Daniel Lafferty is hoping to have a short summer holiday this season.

The 26-year-old, who has 12 international caps, will be doing everything he can to ensure that he’s in Michael O’Neill’s 23 man squad for this summer’s European Championships and because of that all holiday plans have been put on hold.

“I think there’s a kind of core of the squad who obviously were heavily involved in the qualifying campaign, so I feel they’ll be anticipating that they’ll be involved, but I feel there’s a few places up for grabs,” he said.

“I’m sure Michael has around 30 odd players he could select from. Personally I will be holding out and just do what I can between now and the end of the season and best case scenario I’ll be on that plane to France, so there will be no holidays book until after that squad is announced.”

The Northern Ireland boss in November played three at the back - Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans and Craig Cathcart - and Lafferty feels that system might be used at the Euros in June.

“I have read quite a bit regarding Michael saying he has the option of going 3-5-2, as centre-back is probably our strongest position and while I don’t know what his thoughts are, that formation is a serious possibility.

“Obviously now with Chris Brunt missing out it kind of upsets the back four that has been regular, so as I said he might go with a 3-5-2 formation.

“I have played left of a five a number of times, but like I said as long as I’m playing games and match fit, then doing that shift won’t be an issue at all.

“Either way if it’s a 4-4-2 or a 3-5-2 I will be looking to try and get myself involved in it one way or another.

“I see myself as an attack minded full-back so playing in that kind of in between position wouldn’t at all hinder me, in fact playing in either that left-back/left-wing role is something I would really enjoy, because you obviously get a lot more freedom to go forward.

Lafferty knows that the modern day full-back has to have more attributes than just defending and bombing up and down the wing is just a given these days.

“A modern day full-back has to be athletic, he has to be fit, as there’s a lot of demand put on him and it’s a style of play which I would like to say I try to emulate that style as well.

“I’m comfortable enough on the ball and I’m able to find the pass and stuff like that. The top full-backs like Daniel Alves and Jordi Alba and all the other top full-backs around Europe, that’s how they play. I played in that position in a game in Turkey, where we played a 3-5-2 formation and I played in the left of that so if that does happen I would like to think that I could make an impression.”