EURO 2016

Key man Lafferty declares himself fit for Northern Ireland opener

EURO 2016By Sunday World
Kyle Lafferty
Kyle Lafferty

Kyle Lafferty returned to horsing around at training on Friday before declaring himself fit for Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 opener with Poland in Nice on Sunday.

The 28-year-old striker brushed off any concerns over the groin problem which forced him to the sidelines on Tuesday by rejoining Michael O'Neill's group three days later and was in high spirits.

During a resistance-band training exercise, he mimicked a horse at the Saint-Georges-de-Reneins training base, much to the amusement of his colleagues, and then insisted that, despite scaring himself earlier in the week, he would be fine for the Polish test lying in wait on the French Riviera.

In an interview with the Irish Football Association, he said: "It's feeling good, I trained by myself yesterday, did a few runs, a few twists and turns and it feels good.

"Seeing the way I fell, the way I landed, I thought the worst, but I came through it and got the scan results which were all clear and I've never felt better.

"When I had the sharpest pain in my groin, I thought the worst, as you do, but the longer the day went on, I started feeling better as I was getting more stiff and that was probably a good sign.

"I went for a scan and the results came back clear and it gave me the go-ahead to start training intense again. I have and I feel great."