Michael O’Neill has recalled Alan Mannus and Lee Hodson for Northern Ireland’s upcoming UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers with Faroe Islands and Hungary.
The duo were both absent from O’Neill’s previous squad, but have done enough to convince the manager to hand them another chance as Northern Ireland look to close the gap on Group F leaders Romania.
Defender Aaron Hughes will have the chance to move two games closer to his 100th cap after being named within the 23-man party, while Kyle Lafferty, the side’s top scorer with five in qualifying, is expected to lead the line again despite a recent knee injury.
O’Neill has also included Chris Brunt and Jamie Ward even though both players have also been troubled with injury at their respective clubs.
Northern Ireland – who currently trail Romania by one point with four games remaining – travel to Faroe Islands on September 4, before welcoming Hungary to Belfast four days later.
Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Roy Carroll (Notts County), Alan Mannus (St Johnstone), Michael McGovern (Hamilton)
Defenders: Chris Baird (Derby County), Craig Cathcart (Watford), Jonny Evans (Manchester United), Shane Ferguson (Newcastle United), Lee Hodson (MK Dons), Aaron Hughes (Melbourne City), Gareth McAuley (West Brom), Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood Town), Patrick McNair (Manchester United)
Midfielders: Chris Brunt (West Brom), Stuart Dallas (Leeds United), Steven Davis (Southampton), Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers), Patrick McCourt (Luton Town), Oliver Norwood (Reading), Ben Reeves (MK Dons)
Forwards: Liam Boyce (Ross County), Will Grigg (Wigan Athletic), Kyle Lafferty (Norwich City), Caolan Lavery (Sheffield Wednesday), Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock), Niall McGinn (Aberdeen), Jamie Ward (Nottingham Forest)
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