I just wanted to be here, to play, to see the lads, and to try and get the win but sadly that wasn’t the case today.
Those were the words of Dale midfielder Matty Lund who spoke to Dale Player after the weekend's League One encounter at Port Vale, as he explained his unusual weekend of football.
Lund was named as a substitute by Northern Ireland for their Euro 2016 qualifier against Romania in Bucharest on Friday, but travelled back to take his place in Dale's matchday squad on Saturday. The 23-year-old flew from Bucharest, via Frankfurt, to Manchester and made an appearance from the bench at Vale Park.
“I spoke to the Northern Ireland manager and he said it was okay," said Lund. "I’m going home to sleep now but I feel fine. I’m just disappointed we couldn’t get anything out of today’s game because we were unlucky and deserved something.
He added: “Today the performance was very good. I was watching the first half from the side-lines and the lads were pushing and passing it around well. We were unlucky not to take the lead, then we sat back and conceded and failed to get the equaliser but it was a good team performance.”
Lund now has aspirations to carry on impressing for his side and to be noticed in future international call ups, with his end goal being qualification for the Euros in 2016: “The plan is to carry on playing well. I want to play for my country and if we could qualify for the Euros that would be a great achievement for us.”
By James Burch.