NORTHERN IRELAND: Paddy McNair could join squad for Latvia game

Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair.
Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair.

Injured Manchester United defender Paddy McNair could yet be part of the Northern Ireland squad for next week’s friendly against Latvia.

“Hopefully he will join us - we will monitor him over the next couple of days,” NI manager Michael O’Neill told the BBC.

Last month the Ballyclare native spent three nights in hospital in Helsinki after he suffered an abdominal injury in the 1-1 draw against Finland. But he could join up with the team for the Friday night clash at Windsor Park if his condition improves.

In a recent interview with the Newtownabbey Times, McNair admitted he wasn’t ‘too nervous’ when O’Neill told him he’d be making his competitive international debut against Greece. It turned out to be an historic night as the team secured their passage to next summer’s European Championships with a 3-1 win.

“It was brilliant,” he smiled. “It was my first-ever game at Windsor Park and it was a day I’ll never forget.

“I was looking forward to it. I wasn’t too nervous. I was just excited and I wanted to get us to France and we did that. I just had to concentrate on my own and game and the rest just takes care of itself.”

On Wednesday, Newtownabbey’s Craig Cathcart, Jonny Evans and Corry Evans were named in the 23-man panel for the Latvia clash.
Northern Ireland squad

Goalkeepers: Roy Carroll, Alan Mannus, Michael McGovern.

Defenders: Chris Baird, Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans, Craig Cathcart, Shane Ferguson, Lee Hodson, Conor McLaughlin.

Midfielders: Steven Davis, Chris Brunt, Corry Evans, Oliver Norwood, Paddy McCourt, Stuart Dallas.

Forwards: Kyle Lafferty, Niall McGinn, Jamie Ward, Josh Magennis, Billy McKay, Will Grigg, Liam Boyce.