Nigel Worthington has praised David Healy for staying positive despite being left out of the Fulham squad at the weekend.
Healy has struggled to make an impact in his first season at Craven Cottage and has fallen down the pecking order under Roy Hodgson.
But he has enjoyed unparalleled success for Northern Ireland and his attitude on linking up with his team-mates ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Bulgaria has pleased manager Worthington.
Worthington commented: "The smile on the little man's face was just magnificent to see. Someone who wasn't involved in the 16 last weekend but wanted to perform and turn up for his country.
"The joy on his face was a real pleasure to see and refreshing from a manager's point of view."
However, Worthington admits that Healy's club situation is far from ideal.
He added: "It's the manager's decision but all I do know, and I had him on loan at Norwich, is that he needs to play games.
"He knows he has ability but he needs the belief to give him confidence to go and perform, to do what he does best and score goals.
"That will only come through playing games week in, week out. Not bits and pieces - that is not very helpful towards David's performance level."
Worthington has called on his players to express themselves against Bulgaria and concentrate on the performance rather than the result.
He explained: "I am looking for a performance. If you get a decent performance, nine times out of 10 things follow thereafter.
"I want a good performance first and foremost - but make no mistake I always value good results and we want to keep the momentum moving forward."