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Hughes confident Healy can hit target
Published : 12 Oct 2010 08:21:00
orthern Ireland captain Aaron Hughes insists David Healy is refusing to be downhearted despite his barren run in front of goal. Sunderland striker Healy heads into tonight's Euro 2012 qualifier against the Faroe Islands having failed to score for the team in two years. He also faces stiff competition from Kyle Lafferty, who impressed in the goalless draw with Italy on Friday after stepping off the bench. Asked if the lack of goals was affecting Healy's mood, Hughes said: "No, I do not think it is getting to him. "In training he is exactly the same. Around the hotel he is exactly the same. He enjoys scoring goals, that is how he has made his living and if he gets one then I am sure more goals will follow. "I would be delighted if David managed to get a goal against the Faroes. "But it wouldn't be just because he's ended his lean spell, it would be because it was towards a Northern Ireland win and a vital three points in our qualifying campaign. "When a striker goes a few games without scoring, the attention seems to go on him. But we are all willing him to score. "He is a goalscorer, a proven one at that. Every striker goes through a lean spell and I'm confident he will come out of it scoring plenty of goals." Oldham striker Warren Feeney could retain his place in the team after a tireless performance against former world champions Italy. That brought Northern Ireland's tally to four points after they opened with a 1-0 victory against Slovenia. Manager Nigel Worthington was impressed with the shift Feeney put in. He said: "We have just replaced a third lung with a new one. Warren is very refreshing. He always has a smile on his face and has something to say. "He is a bundle of energy. The biggest thing is he wears the Northern Ireland shirt with pride. That is what carries him. "That is what we are. We all work hard. There are no passengers and that is important. "If you go back over many years Northern Ireland have been successful having top class players who worked hard for each other. That is where success comes from."