Newry City AFC's battle for senior survival has suffered a setback days before the final game of the Danske Bank Premiership season - with two players axed due to "a breach of club discipline".
Manager Darren Mullen has confirmed Declan Carville and Stephen Hughes "will not be involved in the panel" up to and including Saturday's crucial game against Dungannon Swifts.
A third Newry player, Mark McCabe, was also involved in an incident deemed against club rules but will return to the squad for training on Thursday.
"Declan and Stephen have both stepped outside what I expect from my players as Newry City manager," said Mullen. "As a result of the breach of club discipline, neither player will be involved in the panel for the Dungannon game or be back at Newry.
"My decision has received the full backing from the club."
It is understood the contracts of Carville and Hughes both end this summer.
Newry trail Ards by three points entering the last weekend of the season, with the latter enjoying a goal difference superior by four.