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Wednesday 15 Nov 2023
Northern Ireland squad update

Goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell and midfielders Paddy Lane and Brad Lyons have withdrawn from the Northern Ireland senior men’s squad today.

All three players joined the squad on Sunday carrying knocks. It was hoped they could train and compete, however they have now had to return to their clubs for treatment.

Portsmouth winger Lane and Kilmarnock midfielder Lyons have calf injuries, while Aarhus stopper Peacock-Farrell is ruled out with a knee injury. 

Called up in their place are West Ham United defender Michael Forbes and Portsmouth midfielder Terry Devlin from the Under-21 panel, and St Mirren midfielder Caolan Boyd-Munce has also been drafted in. All three players are uncapped at senior level.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill also confirmed today that Fleetwood Town keeper Stephen McMullan will take his place in the squad after training with the seniors this week. It represents a first senior call-up for the young goalkeeper, who also steps up from the U21s.

The manager said: “Sadly we weren’t able to get Bailey, Brad or Paddy on the grass in recent days so they return home with our best wishes.

“Equally it’s a great chance for Michael, Terry and Caolan to join the squad to make a positive contribution.

“I am aware this affects Tommy Wright’s U21 squad but he, like all of us, recognises the amount of injuries we are dealing with and we hope they can return to play a part with his squad after the Denmark game on Monday.”

O’Neill has already lost his captain, Manchester United defender Jonny Evans, and Queens Park Rangers winger Paul Smyth due to injury ahead of this Friday’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Finland in Helsinki and next Monday’s qualifier against Denmark at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.

He is still hopeful, however, that Smyth could return for the Denmark game after receiving treatment on a hamstring injury at his club.

The Group H qualifier against Finland is being staged at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki on Friday (17 November; 17.00 UK time), while the match against Denmark is set to be played at the National Football Stadium next Monday (20 November; 19.45).