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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 March 2007, 22:19 GMT 23:19 UK
Healy is delighted with hat-trick
David Healy tries to hold off Michael Stocklasa
David Healy was Northern Ireland's hero in Vaduz
David Healy said it was "a proud night" for him after becoming the first player to score two hat-tricks for Northern Ireland in international matches.

The striker scored three of his side's goals in a 4-1 win over Liechtenstein.

"You don't score many hat-tricks in your career so to grab two in the same qualifying series is special," he said.

"They got men behind the ball in the first half but we broke them down in the second and hopefully we can now go on and qualify for a major tournament."

"We knew it was going to be tough with difficult conditions and a bumpy pitch but things went well in the second half and we are starting to make a bit of a name for ourselves," he added.

Manager Lawrie Sanchez admitted it was nice to score four but added it was "a slight disappointment to concede the late goal and to lose Keith Gillespie for the game against Sweden through suspension".

"We tried to find our range in the first half when we had a few half chances but David (Healy) was lethal in front of goal in the second half and Grant McCann did well too.

we kept the dream of qualifying alive tonight

Lawrie Sanchez

"This was David's second hat-trick of the tournament. He is a quality player and we know that if we give him chances, he will put them away, end of story.

"I told the players at half-time that it was a 90-minute game and the result is not decided after 45 minutes. In the end we won 4-1 and I'm delighted to repay the fans who travelled all this way."

Sanchez played down the significance of Wednesday's Windsor Park showdown with Sweden but did bemoan the loss of his in-form winger.

"The group will not be decided on Wednesday night but every game is a big one and the match against Sweden is no different.

"It is disappointing that Keith will not play but it offers a chance for someone else to come in and do a job and if we all do our job, we can get something from the game."

The current contract of the Northern Ireland boss ends in November but he would not be drawn on any prospects of a new deal.

"I am happy at Northern Ireland, I enjoy working with the players and we kept the dream of qualifying alive tonight.

"We have a six-month break after this campaign so that gives us plenty of time to talk about the future."

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03 Mar 07 |  Internationals


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