Liam Boyce returns to Northern Ireland squad as Will Grigg misses out

Ross County striker Liam Boyce (left) is back in the Northern Ireland squad.
Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

Ross County striker Liam Boyce (left) is back in the Northern Ireland squad. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

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Liam Boyce is back in the Northern Ireland squad after missing out on Euro 2016.

Michael O’Neill’s side get their World Cup qualifying campaign under way in the Czech Republic on September 4, with Ross County striker Boyce in the 23-man panel.

Missing out is Will Grigg after the Wigan striker requested not to be considered with his partner due to go into labour.

Boyce has netted five goals his last two matches for County and O’Neill is delighted to have him back.

“The intention was always to have him in the squad but he’s started the season great and he looks in good form,” O’Neill said.

“Will is a player that I brought into the squad as an Under 21. I probably would have hoped that he’d be a bit further along by now but he’s in a good place.

“I had a good conversation with his manager and he thinks he’s ready for the championship now. Maybe when he went to the championship with Brentford, he wasn’t ready.

“After going back to League One and having the season on loan at MK Dons and the season he had with Wigan, it seems he is ready now.”

Two new faces added to the panel are Burton Albion defender Tom Flanagan and Dundee winger Michael Duffy. Goalkeeper Trevor Carson comes in as Roy Carroll misses out.

Chris Baird has retired while Luke McCullough is unavailable with a long-term injury, and Aaron Hughes was not considered as pre-season for the Indian Super League is yet to start.