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Tuesday, 16 April, 2002, 20:51 GMT 21:51 UK
McEvilly is latest NI recruit
Rochdale's Lee McEvilly will be on the bench for Northern Ireland's friendly against Spain
Lee McEvilly (right) has been drafted into the NI squad

Northern Ireland boss Sammy McIlroy has called on Rochdale striker Lee McEvilly to bolster his injury-ravaged squad for Wednesday's friendly against Spain in Belfast.

McIlroy is without 12 players because of injury, suspension and club commitments, while Jim Magilton is looking increasingly likely to miss out because of a family problem.

Magilton's expected withdrawal would leave McIlroy with just 16 fit players and he has responded by bringing in McEvilly.

McEvilly had been called up for last month's under-21 international against Germany but had to pull out through injury.

'Strong lad'

McIlroy feels the Dale frontman will be a useful option on the bench.

McIlroy had tried to call up Bristol Rovers duo James Quinn and Ciaran Toner, but they were unavailable.

"I have brought in McEvilly and he is a big strong lad," he said.

"I had tried for James Quinn and Ciaran Toner but they had a match on Tuesday night.

"McEvilly should help us out and will give us another striker on the bench."

McIlroy is also sweating over the availability of Keith Gillespie after the Blackburn winger spent a day in bed with a sore throat.

Spain's Diego Tristan will not be winning his eighth cap at Windsor Park because of a hamstring injury.

The Deportiva La Coruna striker is flying home on Wednesday morning for treatment.

See also:

16 Apr 02 |  Football
McIlroy at lowest ebb
16 Apr 02 |  BBC Pundits
Gerry looks on the bright side
27 Mar 02 |  World Cup 2002
NI held by lowly Liechtenstein
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