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Monday 18 Mar 2024
O’Neill provides squad update ahead of friendlies

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill has provided an update on his squad ahead of the upcoming away friendlies against Romania and Scotland.

His squad are training in Manchester over the next few days as they prepare for the international challenge matches against the Romanians in Bucharest on Friday (22 March) and against Scotland next Tuesday (26 March).

O’Neill said one or two players in the 26-strong panel did not play at the weekend and are injury concerns.

He revealed defender Jamal Lewis, who is currently on loan at Watford from Newcastle United, will definitely not be fit for the first game but may be available for the second game.

And it’s a similar situation with Rangers winger Ross McCausland, who will also only be available for the second game if treatment goes according to plan.

“Both Ross and Jamal have gone back to their clubs for treatment, but hopefully they will join up with us when we arrive in Scotland for the second game,” the Northern Ireland boss said.

He said a few other players are nursing bumps and bruises following club games at the weekend but hopes they will be available for selection.

And he revealed Blackpool striker Shayne Lavery has been added to the panel.

The squad trained at Manchester City’s Etihad training complex earlier today and O’Neill said the group had “trained well”.

The Northern Ireland manager explained the facilities at the complex were “phenomenal” and the players were enjoying the experience of training there.

The squad will train at the Etihad facility once again tomorrow and on Wednesday morning before jetting off to Bucharest on Wednesday afternoon.

Image: Michael O’Neill has a laugh with Conor Bradley at today’s training session in Manchester.