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McCullough Aims to Impress

20 October 2015

Northern Ireland starlet hopes his domestic form can earn him a place in the Euro 2016 squad.

Luke McCullough has cast designs on a seat on the plane bound for France in the summer of 2016 when Northern Ireland will partake in their first ever European Championships.

The 21 year old defender was used as a late substitute when Michael O’Neill’s side booked their place at the 24 team tournament, but McCullough has admitted that to be in with a chance, his form domestically cannot afford to drop.

“Hopefully I’ll be playing well and with a bit of luck, I’ll be on the plane, but I need to play well here and if I do that then the rest of it will take care of itself,” he said.

“(It was) Fantastic for me to be involved in and it’s the first time we’ve ever qualified for the Euros, that was a fantastic start to the week, but the ending was a dampener.

“It (the 1-0 loss to Yorkshire rivals Bradford City) was a poor game. Everyone wanted to send (Rob) Jones off on a positive note but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. It’s never nice to lose a derby either so it’s very disappointing.”

The positive for McCullough – who has often been deployed at right back this season – is the opportunity of a fresh start under new manager Darren Ferguson. The former Peterborough United and Preston North End manager will take charge of his first Rovers game when the South Yorkshire side travel to Shropshire to take on Shrewsbury Town.

“It’s always a clean slate when a new manager comes in,” said McCullough.

“He hasn’t said too much yet about how we’re going to play. He wants us to play with freedom, exciting and entertaining football for everyone who comes down.

“The club have had plenty of applicants and they’ve gone with what they think is best for the club and I’m sure it will be.

“A new manager comes in and it always gives you a bit of a lift, so hopefully that will be the case. At the same time it (Shrewsbury) is not an easy place to go and at the moment, nowhere seems to be an easy place to go!”

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