Healy recovery boosts Sanchez
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Lawrie Sanchez is relieved to have David Healy available for Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland boss Lawrie Sanchez has expressed his relief over David Healy's availability for the upcoming Euro 2008 qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Sweden.
The Leeds striker broke a bone in his elbow in late January and missed the international friendly against Wales last month.
He looked doubtful for Northern Ireland's next two games but recovered quickly and scored for Leeds in the 1-1 draw with Southend on Saturday.
"I thought David would be out for a lot longer but he has healed quickly," said Sanchez.
"He has started playing again for Leeds which is the main thing."
Leeds remain in severe trouble in the Championship but Sanchez believes Healy's record for Northern Ireland shows his class.
Healy has scored 24 goals in 54 internationals and has netted four times in their ongoing qualifying campaign.
"When David comes to Northern Ireland it doesn't matter what his club form has been like," explained Sanchez.
"David's record in my time has been phenomenal.
"When you consider Northern Ireland went so long without scoring (1298 minutes from 2002 to 2004) it is even more impressive."
Sanchez will name his squad on Tuesday and the group will fly to Liechtenstein on Thursday.