We expect Shane Ferguson to pick up his second full cap for Northern Ireland when they play Norway tomorrow night at Windsor Park in Belfast.
Shane Ferguson – Northern Ireland International
There was news created by Shane last October when then manager Nigel Worthington accused him of not wanting to play for Northern Ireland and about to switch his allegiance to Ireland, who are a much better side.
But since then Nigel has been sacked, and former Newcastle midfielder Michael O’Neill (1987-1989) has been appointed manager, and O’Neill has brought in a lot of youngsters into the squad, for his first game against Norway.
Shane talked about that storm in a tea-cup that seemed to have been orchestrated by Worthington:
“Everyone knows me, I am a quiet person too – a lot of the things said in the papers, they were not true. I am just looking forward to putting all of that behind me and just showing I want to play for Northern Ireland.
“I don’t want to switch – my future is with Northern Ireland.” “There are a lot of youngsters around the squad. I think Michael O’Neill will do a great job and he seems like a nice person.”
“I have spoken to him a few times on the phone and everything is going really well so far.” “I really want to be part of it – it is a great honor to represent your country and I would just like to play for them for as long as possible.”
“I would love to come on and show the Northern Ireland fans what I can do.”
Shane has been troubled by injury, but he is now back on the bench for Newcastle, and we could seem him come on for sub appearances over the last 12 games of the season.
And we think if Alan Pardew could even farm him out to a Championship club for the rest of the season, he may do that, but we doubt that will happen now – it’s getting a bit late for that.
Shane has one full cap for Northern Ireland, and it was a game in the summer of 2009 in Pisa against Italy, when Davide Santon was playing for Italy.
After the Norway game he will return to Newcastle for the derby game with Sunderland at St. James’ Park, which has a high noon kick-off time, and there’s no doubt our lads need a win in that game, but it will be tough.
This is what the 20 year-old had to say about the upcoming derby game:
“There is such a buzz about this game. Since I was a youngster it has always been highlighted.” “I never knew what it was about until I was 15 and I love it too. The atmosphere walking to the ground is amazing. I just cannot wait for it.”
“From the fans the message you get is ‘Just finish above Sunderland!’ or ‘just beat them!’ It is great, you cannot beat it!” “I feel like I am back in and around the squad again because at the start of the year the injury was just killing me.”
“The team was doing that well it was hard to get back in.”
We’d really like to see Shane get some playing time through the end of the season, because when he comes on he always gives a good account of himself, and he can be used at either left back or out on the left wing.
The youngster could even see some playing time on Sunday, in an important derby game for Newcastle.