Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty doubts he'll start Germany Euro 2016 clash
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 19/06/16 9:14pm
Northern Ireland goal hero Kyle Lafferty admits there is no guarantee he will start against world champions Germany on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old scored seven goals during qualifying to help Northern Ireland reach the European Championships for the first time in their history.
But having started in their 1-0 opening defeat to Poland, the striker was left on the bench on Thursday when Northern Ireland sealed a historic 2-0 win over Ukraine in Group C.
"It's never been about me," said Lafferty.
"My position in the team was never guaranteed and what happened in Lyon proved that."
Michael O'Neill preferred QPR's Conor Washington up front against Ukraine in one of five changes from the side which lost to Poland.
A flying header from defender Gareth McAuley and Niall McGinn's injury-time strike handed the Irish their first ever Euros finals victory leaving everything to play for against Germany.
And Lafferty says all that matters is getting the result to make the last 16, not whether he starts against the world champions.
"I still have to work my absolute socks off in training," he said. "My goals got us to Euro 2016, but they don't mean anything.
"None of the lads deserve to be dropped after the performance they put in. They deserve another chance against the world champions. We're looking forward to Germany."
It's been almost 33 years since the last of Northern Ireland's two wins over Germany, who are heavy favourites for Tuesday's clash at the Parc de Princes in Paris.
"It's a difficult match, they are world champions for a reason," admitted Lafferty.
"They have amazing players, some of the best players and defenders in the world, but if we turn up the way we turned up (against Ukraine), they are going to be worried.
"We have lost one game in 13, so it's going to be an exciting match and a massive one for us.
"It's about us getting over the finish line (reaching the last 16), we're here and we want to stay here."
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