SHANE Ferguson is hoping to be involved in two of the biggest days of his career this week.
Yet, while the Newcastle United left-sider appreciates the importance of Sunday’s Tyne-Wear derby, he is bemused about the furore surrounding his international call-up.
Ferguson is hoping to make his second appearance for Northern Ireland tomorrow, three years after his first.
The gap since his debut against Italy fuelled conspiracy theories. Then-manager Nigel Worthington implied Ferguson’s alleged failure to take his calls was because he was hoping to switch allegiance to the Republic of Ireland.
Under the Good Friday Agreement, Irish players can play for either side provided they have not represented the other competitively.
Ferguson’s debut came in a friendly against Italy.
Tomorrow’s Windsor Park game versus Norway is also a friendly, and will not tie him to the country of his birth.
However, the 20-year-old has pledged his allegiance to them.
He said: “It was a big issue. It was massive, I am not sure why! Reading the papers and some of the stuff said – it was mad.
“I just want to put that to bed now and show everyone I am committed.
“It is a great honour to be selected for the squad and I just cannot wait to be involved. I hope I will be able to play my part.
“Maybe there were some things he (Worthington) did not like about me. There is nothing I could do about it.