Lee Camp’s international future continues to lie in limbo after the Nottingham Forest goalkeeper was omitted from Northern Ireland’s squad yesterday.
Camp withdrew from Michael O’Neill’s panel in the middle of last month’s qualifiers against Russia and Luxembourg after the manager chose to drop him in favour of the returning Roy Carroll in Moscow.
That international hiatus looks set to continue following this latest omission for next week’s trip to Portugal.
O’Neill admitted yesterday he hopes to hold talks with the Nottingham Forest shot-stopper, but added there was “no way” Camp merited a call-up for next Tuesday’s game in Porto.
“It wouldn’t have been right to have selected him and we need to let Lee sort some things out and then let him decide whether he wants to be available for future call ups,” O’Neill said.
“There was no way I could have called him up this time because the situation hasn’t changed.
“If Lee makes himself available again I will consider him, we don’t have enough players to close the door on them.
“The only thing I was disappointed by was the timing of Lee’s decision but I’ll have future dialogue with Lee if he makes himself available.”
O’Neill believes there are other eligible goalkeepers who are repeatedly playing for their clubs and prepared to make the commitment to Northern Ireland.
“Alan Mannus has been with us for game after game but doesn’t have the number of caps which his dedication merits, in my opinion,” he said.
“Therefore, I couldn’t just reselect Lee, there’s that basis to think about. So I will just say it is something we can look at in the future.”
The team travel to Portugal on Wednesday, with Roy Carroll, Mannus and Michael McGovern on board.
O’Neill said: “I haven’t spoken with Michael directly as he was in the squad for the Norway game earlier this year, so I haven’t plucked him from the blue.”