Conor Bradley hopes Northern Ireland can capitalize on their impressive club form

Conor Bradley will go into the upcoming Nations League games in Northern Ireland with greater confidence after making an impressive start to his loan spell at Bolton.

The 19-year-old Liverpool native already has eight caps for his country but feels ready to step on a level after getting his first taste of regular senior football in League One.

As a full-back, Bradley made an immediate impression at University of Bolton Stadium, scoring three goals in 12 games in all competitions.

“I’m feeling good this season,” Bradley said. “Obviously playing twice a week was a step forward for me.

“It was difficult at times, but hopefully it will help me in the long run.

In any case, I feel safer. I have a bit of rhythm because I play twice a week

Conor Bradley

“I definitely feel more confident. I have a bit of rhythm because I play twice a week. It’s mostly the trust part. I feel good because I’ve played most games with Bolton. I just want to go ahead and put that in a Northern Ireland shirt.”

Bradley scored his first Bolton goal in a lopsided 5-1 EFL Cup win over Salford, followed by league goals against Morecambe and Charlton, victories that have helped Wanderers climb to fifth place in the table.

“Definitely getting more into the box, timing the runs into the box and of course taking those chances that I want to get even better at,” Bradley said when asked which parts of his game have evolved fastest since I did Joined Bolton.

“My game management too, I’m young, some of the players in England are stronger than me so I’ve looked into that and tried to work around that…

“Hopefully it will help me with Northern Ireland. (Ian Baraclough) likes to play with full-backs much like we do at Bolton and he likes to have his full-backs in the box too. Hopefully I can add something to that.”

Conor Bradley caught the eye of Bolton (Isaac Parkin/PA).

(PA wire)

Bradley made five senior appearances for Liverpool last season, including a substitute at AC Milan in the Champions League, and he remains in regular contact with the club about his progress at Bolton.

“It’s been tremendous that they’ve stayed in touch and still want to know how I’m doing and how I’ve settled in,” he said. “Liverpool have been great in that regard and I can’t thank them enough.

“It was the right time to defer the loan. I needed to get out and play as many games as I could.

“It’s a big learning curve for me, but it’s a step I had to take and I can’t wait for the rest of the season.”

Bradley, who played for parent club Liverpool in the FA Cup third round match against Shrewsbury earlier this year (PA)

(PA Archive)

As his club career progresses, this week’s task is to pull Northern Ireland out of the hole they dug with a dismal series of results in June.

Two draws against Cyprus and defeats at home to Greece and away in Kosovo have seen Baraclough’s side battle relegation from Group C in the Nations League after the campaign began with talks of promotion.

With Baraclough pressured by disgruntled sections of the green-white army, a home win over Kosovo on Saturday is imperative before heading to Athens on Tuesday, where they sit four wins-four at the top of the table against Greece.

“We were disappointed in June,” Bradley said. “We felt we could have done better. But we’re still positive and we’ve got a few familiar faces back, so we’re confident we can get two positives from these games.” Conor Bradley hopes Northern Ireland can capitalize on their impressive club form

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