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Tyreik Wright on playing for Manchester United legend Mark Hughes

Cork native Wright this week has a steely focus on his international career

Republic of Ireland U-21 international Tyreik Wright marked his full debut for Bradford City with a goal in a 3-0 win against Stevenage. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE

Aidan FitzmauriceIndependent.ie

Ireland U-21 cap Tyreik Wright says he wants to use the opportunity to play under Mark Hughes to prove to Steven Gerrard that he’s good enough to play for Aston Villa.

Cork native Wright this week has a steely focus on his international career as he’s one of the forwards in Jim Crawford’s Ireland U-21 squad who take on Israel at home (Friday) and away (next Tuesday), the winners of that tie advancing to the European Championship finals next year.

With three goals in his 13 caps, Wright has shown he’s a key player for Crawford, his importance elevated with news that Liam Kerrigan misses this international window through injury as the Boys in Green aim to secure a first qualification for the Euros.

“It would mean the world, pulling on the green jersey, making history for the 21s,” he says.

The 20-year-old came into the camp with a spring in his step as he marked his full debut for Bradford City, his League Two loan club, last weekend with a goal in a 3-0 win against Stevenage.

He’s already soaked in just how big the club is, noting the Bantams had a crowd of 17,000 for last weekend’s game.

And for Wright, as a striker, the chance to work under former Manchester United, Wales and Chelsea man Hughes is a gift he can’t waste.

“He has been a pleasure, he has me straight away into the group, giving me game-time, he’s a Manchester United legend and I grew up supporting United. It was a no-brainer for me to go to Bradford and work under him,” he says.

“He has managed at the highest level, managed some quality players, and the football they play as well, it suited me the most.

“I was delighted that they were interested in me. He just says, ‘go out and enjoy yourself’. When I am playing, I don’t feel any pressure.”

Having spent five years at Villa without getting close to the first team, he knows that, in the last year of his contract, he’s at a key stage.

“I still have ambitions to play for Aston Villa in the Premier League. If I am performing the way I performed at the weekend, I don’t see why not.

“I have always aimed the highest and I don’t see why I can’t get into the Villa first team.

“I only have a season remaining there so I don’t have time to waste this season, I need to get my stats up and it (weekend goal) was a massive confidence booster going into the international break.

“My main aim would be to get my stats (goals) up, get Bradford promoted, that’s the ambition of the club, just see what the end of the season holds for me.”


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