Sammy Clingan and Shane Ferguson withdraw from Northern Ireland squad

Shane Ferguson
Shane Ferguson

Sammy Clingan and Shane Ferguson have both been forced to withdraw from Northern Ireland’s squad to face Scotland and Finland.

Kilmarnock midfielder Clingan and versatile Newcastle United star Ferguson have both been ruled out with knee injuries.

Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill had named both men in his 27-man panel during Monday’s squad announcement at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

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.

Burnley defender Daniel Lafferty – who is currently on loan at Sky Bet Championship club Rotherham – and Dundee United midfielder Paul Paton have been called up to the squad.

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.