Hughes - Healy will come good
Aaron Hughes is backing David Healy to come good for Northern Ireland against Poland on Saturday.
Last Updated: 27/03/09 6:21pm
Aaron Hughes is backing David Healy to come good for Northern Ireland in their crucial World Cup qualifier with Poland at Windsor Park on Saturday.
While the striker is the top scorer for the province, he has endured a frustrating campaign with Sunderland this term, where he is yet to start a Premier League game.
Despite this lack of match action, defender Hughes says the striker - who he played alongside at Fulham - is looking sharp ahead of the game against Poland, which is live on Sky Sports 1 at 5.15pm.
He said: "David has been fine in training this week. Perhaps he has been a bit unlucky at Sunderland.
"Everyone in Northern Ireland knows what he is capable of. If we give him the right service and get balls into the box, he will find the net.
"That is irrespective of whether he is playing for his club or not. He is a goalscorer, first and foremost - and we hope he will keep it going for us. I am sure he is looking forward to starting a game at this level again."
Northern Ireland will go top of Group Three should they defeat Poland in their World Cup qualifier, with a home match against Slovenia to follow on Wednesday.
But they are down on numbers - with George McCartney, Steven Davis, Kyle Lafferty and Martin Paterson all absent - although Hughes is convinced the team can prevail with home advantage.
He said: "We're at Windsor, and it's a chance to stay in contention. Our home form has been decent as well.
"If we get the crowd behind us early and take the game to them, then we have a chance of getting a good result.
"It hasn't been an easy campaign, but we've got a chance with two home games back to back.
"The atmosphere will be fantastic - and we hope that'll give us that little advantage, like it normally does."
The Fulham player will hand over the captain's armband against Poland to Damien Johnson, who will be winning his 50th cap.