World Cup 2018: McGovern making up for lost time with Northern Ireland

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World Cup 2018: Every cap is 'precious' - NI keeper McGovern
World Cup Group C qualifier: Northern Ireland v Germany
Date: Thursday, 5 October Venue: National Stadium, Belfast Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 live and Radio Ulster; text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Norwich City keeper Michael McGovern savours every Northern Ireland appearance after going five years between his first and second cap.

The 33-year-old made his NI debut in 2010 but had to wait until the Euro 2016 qualifiers for a return.

McGovern went to produce a career-defining display in the finals against Germany, who NI take on in a World Cup qualifier on Thursday night.

"Every cap I get is precious - every time I play is an honour," he said.

McGovern's heroics against the world champions in Paris ensured the Germans had to settle for a 1-0 win.

He went into the tournament as a free agent after leaving Hamilton Academicals and the stellar performance helped secure a move to Championship side Norwich.

Struggling at City

McGovern has endured a disappointing start to the season at Carrow Road with his only first-team appearance coming in the EFL Cup.

However, the former Falkirk and Ross County player continues to make an impact at international level.

No keeper in Europe has kept more clean sheets in the World Cup qualifiers with Germany the last team to score against Northern Ireland in a 2-0 win last October.

Germany arrive in Belfast as Group C leaders and boasting a five-point lead over Michael O'Neill's team, who are guaranteed a top-two finish and likely play-off spot with two qualifiers remaining.

Northern Ireland have won five matches in a row and kept five clean sheets
Northern Ireland have won five matches in a row and kept five clean sheets

"The game against Germany in France put me on the radar and upped my profile - it's nice to be remembered for that," added McGovern.

"It did cross my mind to quit international football during those five years but I'm glad I stuck at.

"The atmosphere will be rocking at Windsor Park on Thursday night and I'm sure we will give Germany a game.

"I have got things to do before I finish and qualify for the World Cup would be even better than the Euros last year. It would be the pinnacle."