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Sunderland outcast Healy fed-up with knockers

Sunderland striker David Healy hopes to prove his doubters wrong in action for Northern Ireland.

The 31-year-old Sunderland forward is no longer an automatic starter for NI and he has failed to score for Nigel Worthington's side since October 2008.

"I'm desperate to play and desperate to score goals," said Healy. "People are always sharpening their knives so it would be nice to show I'm not finished by a long way."

He added: "People are always going to doubt you, questioning your ability or fitness.

"It hurts, it annoys you but people have to sell newspapers or get their face on television - it is cut-throat from journalism, managers and players.

"People will always have that question mark beside your name if you haven't scored for six games or 10 games, if you have scored 12 to 13 goals in a campaign but don't score in the next one.

"I've learnt to live with that, I've had many, many highs with Northern Ireland and some lows.

"It is about character and I've been around long enough to block it out of my mind."

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