Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 1 February 2015

Northern Ireland have four more not so friendly problems

Four more players have pulled out of the Northern Ireland squad for next week’s friendly international with Morocco.

Chris Baird, who withdraw from Nigel Worthington’s line-up for the Windsor Park clash on Monday after picking up a thigh injury, has been joined by Maik Taylor, Corry Evans and Sammy Clingan in being forced out.

Grant McCann has been excused as his Peterborough United team have an FA Cup first round replay with Stockport Country on Tuesday night.

Midfielder Michael O’Connor has been called-up.

Taylor’s absence was expected as he picked up a shoulder injury in training last week, while Evans has been carrying a hamstring strain. Clingan damaged knee ligaments in Coventry’s defeat to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.

Arsenal’s Marouane Chamakh is the most widely known player in the Morocco squad.

The forward, who was on target for the Gunners against Wolves last night, is one of two British-based players in the squad with young QPR midfielder Adel Taarabt also included.

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