As David Brooks’ call-up by Wales continues to dominate the Bramall Lane news agenda, Daniel Lafferty’s own World Cup ambitions have been lost among the noise.
The Sheffield United defender is in the Northern Ireland squad which hosts Germany this evening as Michael O’Neill’s squad, who are already guaranteed second-place in Group C, attempt to snatch automatic qualification for Russia 2018.
Despite making only four appearances for Chris Wilder’s side this season, Lafferty remains an influential member of the team which has risen to third in the Championship table less than six months after winning the League One title.
“Danny has never let anybody down whatsoever when he’s come in,” Wilder said. “It’s only the form of Enda (Stevens) that’s keeping him out at the moment.
“Enda knows he’s got to stay on his toes because Danny is waiting and that’s the type of competition for places we want.”
Northern Ireland must win both of their remaining qualifiers to stand a chance of overhauling Joachim Löw’s team. United youngster David Parkhouse was in the under-21 party which faced Jersey in St Helier yesterday.