Nigel Worthington's wish list ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifiers would see David Healy playing week in, week out.
Despite being Northern Ireland's record goalscorer the Sunderland striker is no longer assured of a place in the team. That is because he is so far out of the picture at his club, with the situation showing no immediate sign of changing.
Healy now faces an anxious wait to see what unfolds when Northern Ireland face Montenegro in a warm up match on Wednesday ahead of the opening qualifier against Slovenia next month. Worthington said: "The situation with David is straightforward.he needs to play football. I have said that all along."
He added: "It is not just about David, it is about other players. Sometimes that can be difficult and easier said and done.
"But David has not played enough first team football. He's had 12 starts in two years. For a professional footballer to have that amount of starts and be trying perform at the very top level either Premiership or international, is a tough ask."
Northern Ireland boss Worthington also has more options in attack than he did a year ago.
Along with Healy, Kyle Lafferty, Martin Paterson, Warren Feeney and Rory Patterson are all vying for places.
Feeney joined Oldham from Cardiff in the summer while Patterson, once on FC United's books, is now with Plymouth.
Worthington said: "Kyle is young and still learning but has good experience at a very young age. Feeney had a tough year last year with injury and was not playing. So hopefully he is moving forward while Rory has got a move into full time football, which will be good for him.
"Martin Paterson we can use on the right and up front. So maybe a year ago looking at two or three strikers all of a sudden were at looking at four or five, which is good."