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Thursday, 30 November, 2000, 18:19 GMT
McIlroy lauds Healy quality
David Healy
Healy has scored five goals in seven internationals
Manchester United starlet David Healy has got what it takes to succeed in the Premiership, according to Northern Ireland boss Sammy McIlroy.

Healy has scored five goals in seven internationals, including a screamer against Peter Schmeichel in a World Cup qualifier, since McIlroy handed him his first cap back in February.

Now the 21-year-old striker is on the verge of making his Premier League bow with United.

Healy could get his chance because Dwight Yorke is set to be suspended for the three league games over Christmas following his red card at Sunderland in the Worthington Cup in midweek.

Relished opportunity

United are already without Andy Cole as he recovers from his Achilles operation and Yorke's ban leaves them with just Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their front-line strikers.

Sir Alex Ferguson, who a few days ago rejected a bid from Norwich for the hitman, admitted: "David Healy could very well be involved."

And McIlroy claims Healy would not let Ferguson down if he picks him.

Sammy McIlroy
Sammy McIlroy gave Healy his first cap

"I think the kid has got what it takes if Sir Alex chooses to use him," said McIlroy.

"I think everyone knows that he has got the ability, especially Sir Alex who has followed his progress closely.

"David has done it at international level for me and if he can handle that, then he can handle the Premier League, especially if he will have all those great United players to help him.

"During the Christmas programme you need a lot of players and hopefully he will be given his chance.

"He has been patient, worked hard and he certainly deserves it."

Nothing fazes him
  Sammy McIlroy on David Healy

McIlroy, who made his Reds debut in 1971 in similar circumstances when he replaced the injured Denis Law, claims what really impresses him about Healy aside from his ability, is his attitude.

"Nothing fazes him. When I first told him he was going to be involved with the senior team he just took it in his stride.

"Other players would have been worried or nervous, but he just relished it.

"He had waited for his opportunity and he took it.

"He's waited for his chance at Manchester United and if Sir Alex gives him his chance in these games he will take it."

Healy underlined his claims for a first Premiership game when he scored twice in the reserves' 3-2 win over Bury reserves in the Manchester Senior Cup.

Healy's double came just 24 hours after he hit the bar at Sunderland on his first senior outing for the Reds this season.

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See also:

28 Nov 00 |  Worthington Cup
Yorke off as Man Utd crash
27 Nov 00 |  Norwich
Canaries miss out on Healy
08 Oct 00 |  Northern Ireland
Healy's drive for perfection
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