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Page last updated at 08:49 GMT, Monday, 23 March 2009

N Ireland pair out of qualifiers

Northern Ireland v Poland - World Cup qualifier
Venue: Windsor Park Date: Saturday, 28 March Kick-off: 1715 GMT Coverage: Live on Radio Ulster medium wave and BBC Sport Website, live text commentary online and score updates on BBC Radio 5 Live

Kyle Lafferty and Martin Paterson
Kyle Lafferty and Martin Paterson are out of the N Ireland squad

Burnley striker Martin Paterson has been forced out of Northern Ireland's World Cup qualifiers against Poland and Slovenia in Belfast.

Paterson suffered a hamstring injury in Saturday's 2-1 away victory over Plymouth Argyle in the Championship.

Rangers forward Kyle Lafferty, who was suspended for the Poland game, will also miss the Slovenia qualifier because of an ankle injury.

His Ibrox team-mate Andrew Little has been drafted into the squad.

The injuries leave the Northern Ireland squad for the Poland game with a threadbare look as both George McCartney and Steve Davis are suspended.

It is a first senior international call-up for 19-year-old Little.


The Rangers striker has won four Northern Ireland U21 caps, scoring one goal.

Lafferty was stretchered off after scoring for Rangers against Hearts on Saturday.

Lafferty put Rangers ahead in the 10th minute but he had to be replaced by Nacho Novo 10 minutes before the break.

Celtic's Pat McCourt pulled out of the squad for both games because of injury on Friday.

Northern Ireland squad (v Poland)

Goalkeepers: Taylor (Birmingham City), Mannus (Linfield), Tuffey (Partick Thistle).

Defenders: Craigan (Motherwell), Hughes (Fulham), McAuley (Ipswich Town), McGivern (Manchester City), Baird (Fulham), Evans (Manchester United).

Midfielders: McCann (Scunthorpe United), Brunt (West Brom), McGinn (Celtic), Clingan (Norwich City), Johnson (Birmingham City), Shiels (Doncaster Rovers).

Strikers: Healy (Sunderland), Feeney (Dundee United on loan), Little (Rangers), Ward (Sheffield United).

Added for game v Slovenia: McCartney (Sunderland), Davis (Rangers)

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see also
Lafferty fitness concern for NI
21 Mar 09 |  Rangers
McCourt to miss N Ireland matches
20 Mar 09 |  Internationals
Striker Ward in N Ireland call-up
12 Mar 09 |  Internationals

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