Conor Bradley Northern Ireland

“I love playing like that” – Conor Bradley has now made clear which role he enjoys

After two goals and a fantastic performance for Northern Ireland, Conor Bradley detailed the role he “loves playing.”

Tuesday night saw Liverpool’s Bradley score both of Northern Ireland’s goals as they beat Andorra 2-0 in an international friendly.

While he may be a right-back by trade, neither of his goals were scored from positions a traditional full-back would take up.

In fact, his first even saw him get across his marker to turn the ball home in front of the left post.

After the match, Bradley told reporters, including Steven Beacom of the Belfast Telegraph, about the role given to him by manager Michael O’Neill.

“Michael doesn’t tell me to go wherever I want but to play with freedom and whatever you feel in the game and do what you feel,” said the 20-year-old.

“I love playing like that, picking up little positions inside and positions out wide however the game is going and it is working at the moment.”

While he was given plenty of license to get forward under Jurgen Klopp, he was rarely seen in the opposition six-yard box, where he scored both of his goals in Murcia on Tuesday.

Bradley added: “I had a feeling the ball would come across the front post for the first one and I got myself to the cross and tucked it away and the second one I had a feeling it would also come in.

“There was a bit of luck involved as well.

File photo dated 26-03-2024 of Northern Ireland's Conor Bradley, who believes youth can be a strong point for Northern Ireland as Michael O'Neill's latest transformation of the team takes shape. Issue date: Wednesday March 27, 2024.

“My first goal against Scotland was special and getting two in the one night against Andorra was special as well. I’m buzzing and really happy.”

While it is great for Bradley to be succeeding on the international stage, Liverpool and Arne Slot will have an eye on the players and hope to have them all fit for the start of pre-season.

Thankfully, O’Neill considered this and brought Bradley off, despite the youngster being on a hat-trick.

The County Tyrone-born player commented: “Michael said he was going to try and keep me on but added he couldn’t let me go back to Liverpool injured so that’s why he took me off.

“I’m happy with the two. Maybe there will be a hat-trick in the future. It’s been a really good season but I’m glad to get a little break.

“It will be good to switch off for two or three weeks and then I’ll get back to it in pre-season and the whole cycle begins again.”

Pre-season will begin for Bradley in the first week of July, with the current first scheduled friendly to take place on July 27 at 12.30am (BST), against Real Betis in Pittsburgh, USA.