Michael O’Neill comments on Rangers forward Kyle Lafferty

Kyle Lafferty of Rangers and Alfredo Morelos of Rangers look dejected following their sides defeat in during the Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park...

Ibrox club Glasgow Rangers forward Kyle Lafferty is not with Northern Ireland at the moment.

Kyle Lafferty of Rangers looks on during the UEFA Europa League Group G match between Villarreal CF and Rangers at Estadio de la Ceramica on September 20, 2018 in Villareal, Spain.Rangers forward Kyle Lafferty

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill has suggested to The Daily Mail that Rangers forward Kyle Lafferty could be welcomed back to the squad.

Lafferty, who joined Rangers from Heart of Midlothian in the summer transfer window for a fee reported by The Glasgow Evening Times to be worth £500,000, pulled out of Northern Ireland’s matches against Austria and Bosnia and Herzegovina this month.

The 31-year-old Rangers forward pulled out citing an Achilles problem at midnight on Sunday, and while O’Neill has suggested that the former Norwich City forward still has a future in his squad, he has made it clear that Lafferty is not more important than any of the other players he has at his disposal.

O’Neill told The Daily Mail about Lafferty: “I was unhappy to be telephoned 12 o'clock at night, when I was expecting the player to turn up on Monday. But he's no more important than any of the other 23 players we have here.

“There's no guarantee that Kyle was going to come and play, that's the reality of the situation. We've got other strikers available to play.

“I haven't thought about what happens next. It's certainly not my intention to have a chat with him before the game. Since the conversation, my focus has really been preparing the team.

“We won't play another international until November so there's plenty of time to have that discussion.”

Kyle Lafferty of Rangers is seen in the tunnel prior to the Scottish Ladbrokes Premiership match between Rangers and Hearts at Ibrox Stadium on October 7, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Stats

Lafferty made his debut for Northern Ireland back in 2006, and the Rangers forward has scored 20 goals in 68 matches for his country so far.

The former Burnley forward, whose first spell at Rangers was from 2008 until 2012, has scored four goals in eight Scottish Premiership appearances for Steven Gerrard’s Gers so far this campaign, according to Transfermarkt.com.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill claps during the international friendly football match between Northern Ireland and Israel at Windsor Park on September 11, 2018 in Belfast,...

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