Fleetwood Town defender reaps the rewards of hard work

Conor McLaughlin has battled back into Northern Irelands starting XI
Conor McLaughlin has battled back into Northern Irelands starting XI

Fleetwood full-back Conor McLaughlin was pleased to be back in Northern Ireland’s starting line-up and performing on the world stage.

McLaughlin started their opening group game against Poland in France but was dropped after that 1-0 defeat and did not feature again for Michael O’Neill’s side as they progressed to the final 16.

After impressing as Fleetwood made a great start to the new League One campaign he was recalled to the starting XI for Sunday’s game in Prague.

Northern Ireland kept a clean sheet as they drew 0-0 with the Czech Republic and McLaughlin is happy to be back on the international stage.

He said: “It was good, obviously coming on the back of the Euros all of the lads were on a high.

“Going into the World Cup qualifiers we wanted to start well.

“We didn’t exactly play at our best but we got a good point away in the Czech Republic and we can hopefully kick on from there.

“It was good (to be back in the starting line-up) obviously it was disappointing not to play more of a part in the summer but that was down to my own performance in the first game so I could not really complain.

Back at Town, McLaughlin says new head coach Uwe Rosler has made an immediate impression after the shock departure of former boss Steven Pressley just before the season.

He said: “It has been brilliant so far. He has been a breath of fresh air and he has brought in his own ideas.

“All of the lads have taken to it very quickly and we have started really well.

“It has been very good and we are looking really strong at the minute.”