Lafferty called into Northern Ireland squad

Northern Ireland's Daniel Lafferty has been called into Michael O'Neill's squad. Picture by William Cherry/Presseye
Northern Ireland's Daniel Lafferty has been called into Michael O'Neill's squad. Picture by William Cherry/Presseye
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Burnley defender Daniel Lafferty – who is currently on loan at Sky Bet Championship club Rotherham United – and Dundee United midfielder Paul Paton have been called into the Northern Ireland squad.

The pair have replaced Newcastle United winger Shane Ferguson and Kilmarnock’s Sammy Clingan, as they were forced to withdraw from Michael O’Neill’s squad to face Scotland and Finland.

Midfielder Clingan and versatile Toon Army star Ferguson have both been ruled out with knee injuries.

O’Neill did admit Ferguson – who has yet to play for loan club Rangers since moving to Ibrox in January – was a major doubt as he recovered from injury.

New Gers boss Stuart McCall said he was “mystified” Ferguson had been called into the internatioinal squad.

McCall believes the 23-year-old won’t be seen playing this season due to the nature of the knee injury.

O’Neill watched Lafferty in action last night as he took in Nottingham Forest’s game against Rotherham at the City Ground.

Northern Ireland play Scotland in a friendly at Hampden Park on March 25, followed by a crunch Euro 2016 qualifier against Finland at Windsor Park four days later.