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Page last updated at 16:39 GMT, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Little admits shock at NI call-up

Northern Ireland v Poland - World Cup qualifier
Venue: Windsor Park Date: Saturday, 28 March Kick-off: 1715 GMT Coverage: Live on Radio Ulster medium wave and BBC Sport Website, live text commentary online and score updates on BBC Radio 5 Live

Andrew Little
Andrew Little has impressed with the N Ireland U21 side

Rangers striker Andrew Little says it was "a complete shock" to be called up to the Northern Ireland squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifying games.

Little was added to the panel because of the withdrawal of injured forwards Kyle Lafferty and Martin Paterson.

"I was just preparing myself for the Under-21 game against Ukraine and had been looking forward to that," he said.

"I didn't even think I might get my chance and I'm absolutely delighted to have been brought into the group."

"It hurts my head when I think about the situation.

"I knew Kyle and Martin were injured - but it was a complete shock to get called into the full squad if I'm honest," Little told

Manager Nigel Worthington has only three other strikers to call on - record scorer David Healy, Warren Feeney and the uncapped Jamie Ward.

"The manager has told me I've been brought in on merit and I'm there because of my performances for the Under-21s.

"He was very confident in me when I was speaking to him, and that was great. He was quick to reassure me I wasn't just coming in to make up the numbers.

"Of course, I have been called up because there are other people unavailable.

"But he doesn't want me to feel I don't have a part to play, and that was nice to hear.

"He just wants me to go out there and give it my best shot, so that's what I'll do - and I hope I'll get a chance.

"I'm just aiming to do well in training, and if it gets me a shot then great.

"If I happen to get on for five or 10 minutes, depending on how the game is going, it would be a huge bonus for me.

"It would be absolutely amazing and it would certainly be the biggest moment of my career so far."

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see also
N Ireland pair out of qualifiers
23 Mar 09 |  Internationals
Striker Ward in N Ireland call-up
12 Mar 09 |  Internationals
Worthington bemoans 'blip' in win
11 Feb 09 |  Internationals
San Marino 0-3 Northern Ireland
11 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Gillespie omitted from NI squad
02 Feb 09 |  Internationals

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