LIAM Boyce is delighted to be back in the Northern Ireland squad only weeks after returning to the Burton Albion team after long-term injury.
The striker has been called up for his country for the game against South Korea in Belfast on March 24.
He said: “I’m delighted to be back in the squad, especially as it’s the first one I could have been picked for. It’s great to be back and I just hope I can get some minutes on the pitch and show what I can do.
“I couldn’t help with the World Cup play-offs and you are just sitting hoping they get to the World Cup and that you can be a part of it.”
Sadly Northern Ireland narrowly missed out on the World Cup finals and manager Michael O’Neill would have loved to have had the Brewers striker to have helped his cause.
Boyce says that the Northern Ireland camp have been in touch during his battle back from an ACL injury.
The striker says: “The Northern Ireland physio would every so often send me messages asking me how I’m going on and Michael O’Neill has messaged me a couple of times. They have always kept in contact and have known when I have made the next step.
“When the manager is staying in touch and asking how you are doing that is a confidence booster and I hope I can repay them by doing what I do best.
“I’m now just looking forward to being in the squad and just seeing everyone. I just want to be part of it. There have been darker times for Northern Ireland and it’s good to be part of it when it’s going so well.”
Nigel Clough said: “It shows how highly he is rated that they want him back so soon as he hasn’t completed 90 minutes yet. It will be a brilliant boost and reward for him for the work he has done in the last six months.”