Lafferty hoping to force his way in NI squad

Northern Ireland's Daniel Lafferty is hoping to get more game time for Rotherham United. Picture by William Cherry/Presseye
Northern Ireland's Daniel Lafferty is hoping to get more game time for Rotherham United. Picture by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland international Danny Lafferty came up against his old team-mate James McClean, after Rotherham United lost to Wigan Athletic, on Saturday.

The left-back has joined the Millers on loan from Premier League side Burnley for one month.

The former Derry City duo faced each other at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, with McClean coming out the winner as Wigan secured a priceless three points thanks Jermaine Pennant’s double.

Lafferty, who is hoping to get some much needed game time with the Championship side, has been tracked by United boss Steve Evans for nine months.

“He’s a young man we first tried to sign back in the summer, but obviously when you get a three-year deal at a Premier club you’re not going to say ‘yes’ to Rotherham, are you?” asked Evans.

“We’ve kept in touch with Sean Dyche and asked about him on several occasions. Daniel’s got some wonderful qualities.”

As for the ex-Derry City man he is glad to get some minutes under his belt as he looks to force his way back into Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland squad.

Lafferty wasn’t selected for this month’s crunch European Championship qualifying Group F encounter against Finland at Windsor Park, however ex-Derry City men Niall McGinn and Paddy McCourt along with Eglinton winger Shane Ferguson were selected

The 25-year-old has featured just twice for the Clarets this season, coming on as a sub in the win over Southampton and starting in the FA Cup draw with Tottenham.

Lafferty, who has 10 caps for Northern Ireland, signed a new three-year deal at Turf Moor last summer but has struggled for game time this season, and he has now dropped to third in the pecking order at left-back behind Ben Mee and Stephen Ward.

“Game time has been quite hard to come by at Burnley this year,” he admitted.

“The manager keeps the same team quite regularly so it’s quite hard for the guys on the fringes to get minutes on the pitch.

“I’m definitely looking to achieve some game time and some experience here.

“I like to get forward like a modern day full back and understand you have to have the engine to get up and down the pitch.

“I’ll be looking to use these attributes to help Rotherham, put in some good performances and hopefully get some good results along the way.”

The one time Celtic starlet defender said that he was preparing for the Clarets match at Anfield when he first heard about the move.

“I travelled with Burnley to Liverpool to prepare for the game, then I got the phone call and spoke to the manager Sean Dyche and he confirmed it. It all moved quite quickly and before I knew it everything was done and dusted.”