Euro 2016 beckoning? Michael O'Neill raves about QPR's Conor Washington

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill has called up QPR striker Conor Washington.

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill has told the Belfast News Letter that QPR striker Conor Washington 'ticks a lot of boxes' for his side.

After a stunning qualifying period, Northern Ireland have qualified for the European Championships for the first time in their history, with O'Neill masterminding their passage to France this summer.

Premier League stars like Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans and Steven Davis played a huge part in qualification, whilst striker Kyle Lafferty exceeded all expectations by scoring seven goals to spearhead Northern Ireland's remarkable success.

Placed in a group with Germany, Ukraine and Poland, Northern Ireland are widely expected to head home at the first hurdle, but manager O'Neill is casting his net far and wide in search of players who can help him this summer.

On Wednesday, O'Neill called up QPR striker Conor Washington - born in Chatham, England - for games against Wales and Slovenia, given that he qualifies for Northern Ireland through a grandparent.

The 23-year-old smashed 15 goals in 31 games for Peterborough before signing for Queens Park Rangers in January, where he has yet to score in eight appearances.

Still, Washington has the ability to offer some cover and support for main striker Lafferty, and looks set to battle with the likes of Liam Boyce, Billy McKay, Will Grigg and Josh Magennis for a role in O'Neill's squad, with the Northern Ireland boss raving about his pace and power in an interview with the Belfast News Letter.

"We have had Conor watched for a while now. He was at Peterborough and Newport, and it was his agent who alerted us of his eligibility," said O'Neill. "I have watched him twice and he scored in both games. He was particularly impressive."

"He looks like a player who is really hungry to progress, and his career has been on an upward curve in the last 18 months. He was also keen to be involved with Northern Ireland, so that was exciting, too. His general enthusiasm was refreshing. He has pace and he is powerful, so he ticks a lot of boxes for us," he added.

Do you think Washington will play at Euro 2016?

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