Northern Ireland: Kyle Lafferty called up to squad as Josh Magennis is ruled out

Northern Ireland: Kyle Lafferty called up to squad as Josh Magennis is ruled out

by Emily Smith
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Kyle Lafferty is now playing for Cypriot club Anorthosis FamagustaKyle Lafferty has been called up to the Northern Ireland squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers after Josh Magennis was ruled out by injury.

Striker Lafferty, 33, is now playing for Cypriot club Anorthosis Famagusta.

“I said last week that the door was open for Kyle and circumstances mean that he’s back in the reckoning,” said manager Ian Baraclough.

Sunderland’s Tom Flanagan, Motherwell’s Liam Donnelly and Morecambe loan Alfie McCalmont have also been drafted in.

N Ireland ‘must find a way around Evans absence’ – McAuleyLeicester City manager Brendan Rodgers said last week that Jonny Evans would not travel with the squad because of his foot injury, and the defender’s brother Corry is also a doubt for Thursday’s qualifier in Lithuania because of a hamstring injury.

Jonny Evans has missed his club’s opening three Premier League games after being forced off in the FA Cup final win over Chelsea on 15 May.

The Northern Ireland management accept that the Foxes defender will play no part in Thursday’s game and Sunday’s friendly in Estonia, but Baraclough is still holding out hope that Evans could return for the home World Cup qualifier against Switzerland on 8 September.

Baraclough also indicated that other squad members are nursing knocks following action for the clubs over the weekend.

“A number of key players have taken a knock during the weekend games so we’re keeping a watching brief. The next 24 hours will be important,” said the Northern Ireland manager on Monday evening.

Hearts striker Liam Boyce is already an absentee from the panel for family reasons.

New coach Adam Sadler will not be joining the squad for this international window because of a family bereavement over the weekend.

Northern Ireland earned only one point, in a home draw with Bulgaria, from their opening two qualifiers in March, leaving them third in the group with European champions Italy and Switzerland both undefeated above them.

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