Belfast Telegraph

Washington out of big Baku clash as O'Neill names NI training panel

 

By Steven Beacom

Conor Washington is OUT of next month's crucial World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan due to his own match of the day!

The QPR striker will miss the trip to Baku as he is getting married around that time. It is understood the plans were in place before Washington was first called into the squad 14 months ago.

And Gareth McAuley is a doubt after limping off in West Brom's defeat to Chelsea last night.

Washington's loss is a blow to NI manager Michael O'Neill, who must choose another forward to lead the line.

Washington has scored three times in 10 international appearances and over the past year has become a key figure for O'Neill.

Washington's name and those of the injured Will Grigg and Corry Evans were missing from an 18-man panel announced yesterday for a week-long training camp in Manchester ahead of Northern Ireland's home friendly with New Zealand on June 2 and the clash with Azerbaijan eight days later.

The 18 players will meet on May 22 with O'Neill's Premier League players and Scottish Premiership stars joining up on May 29.

Panel: R Carroll (Linfield), M McGovern (Norwich), C Hazard (Celtic), C Mitchell (Burnley), C McLaughlin (Fleetwood), O Norwood (Brighton), M Lund (Rochdale), S Dallas (Leeds), J Ward (Nottingham Forest), K Lafferty (Norwich), T Flanagan (Burton), R McLaughlin (Oldham), D Lafferty (Sheffield United), J Magennis (Charlton), L McCullough (Doncaster), C Camps (Rochdale), A Thompson (Southend), S McCartan (Accrington Stanley).

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