International call for Andy

Andy Little
Andy Little
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Preston North End front man Andy Little will be looking to revive his international career this weekend after a late call-up to the Northern Ireland squad.

The 25-year-old won the last of his eight senior caps in November 2012.

He was initially on stand-by for Northern Ireland ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Hungary in Budapest.

But with last weekend’s games out of the way, the call had not come and Little was in Simon Grayson’s plans for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie with Shrewsbury.

In fact the former Rangers man was going to start up front in the North End side.

Those plans were changed just a few hours before the game by a phone call from Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill.

He needed to replace the injured Stuart Dallas and gave Little the nod – meaning a dash to London to meet up with the squad.

The first of his eight caps came as a substitute against Poland four years ago.

Little seems to have settled well at Deepdale since joining on a Bosman from Rangers in the summer – it was quite a surprise when he was released by the Ibrox outfit in May.

He has played six games for North End, scoring two goals, the second of those being in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield United.

Last month, Little opened his account with a solo effort as PNE beat Rochdale at Spotland in the first round of the Capital One Cup.

Assessing his time to date south of the border, Little told the Evening Post: “I’m loving it here.

“I would be loving it even more if we were sat at the top of the table – that is where we should be.

“But in terms of the squad, they are a great bunch of boys and you can’t fault our effort or attitude.

“I’m enjoying being at the club and playing in front of the fans. I’m just a bit frustrated by the start we have made because we could have had more points.”

Little has noticed differences between playing in England and what he experienced with Rangers.

Although the Gers were in the Scottish Premier League for the first part of his stay with them, their well-publisied financial problems saw them demoted to the Third Division.

Said Little: “Home games here are similar to what I was used to in that teams come and make it difficult.

“We are the team who are expected to go out and win games.

“Tempo wise it is probably faster than what I’m used to.

“Up there in Scotland we had all the ball, especially when we were playing in the lower leagues. Here it is not always the case and possession is often shared.

“You saw against Sheffield United that they had some good players and we had to do the work going back as well as going forward.

“This is a great league but I think we’re a good enough team to get out of it.”

Meanwhile, the PNE South Ribble Supporters’ Club are holding a Sir Tom Finney Gala Dinner in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society.

It takes place on Friday, September 26, at Farington Lodge Hotel in Leyland.

The price included a three-course meal and entertainment.

Tickets cost £30 per person or £280 for a table of 10, and places can be booked either at the Queens pub in Leyland or by contacting Lynn Noon on 07841 330199. There is a 10% discount being offered by Farington Lodge on pre-ordered drinks.