Millar is forced to reshuffle his pack
UEFA Under-21 Championship
Published 16/10/2007 | 08:16
Roy Millar may be once again robbed of the services of Scunthorpe United striker Martin Paterson as his Northern Ireland Under-21 side prepares to face Israel at Mourneview Park tomorrow (5pm).
The 20-year-old's six goals this season had pushed him into the reckoning for a call-up into Nigel Worthington's senior squad for their trip to Sweden.
Instead Paterson stayed with the Under-21s and Millar was keen for him to continue his scoring form, but after missing last month's games against Germany and Luxembourg with a hamstring injury there is now a doubt over whether he will face Israel.
"We have had to allow Martin Paterson to go back to England for personal reasons," said Millar.
"The hope is that he will return to play in the game, but we won't know that until later.
"He is a player that I wanted to have in the squad after his terrific start to the season and I am hoping that he will be here.
"If not then I have other players who are more than capable of providing a cutting edge."
One of those players, Andrew Waterworth, is a doubt too though as he was sent to hospital yesterday for a X-ray on a foot injury.
"Andrew wasn't able to train on Sunday when we met up or on Monday morning so we thought it best that we get his injury looked at with an X-ray, " said Millar.
"If he and Martin Paterson are out then I will have to look at calling in other players."
Already Millar is without the midfield duo that he believes can challenge for places in the senior international squad in the near future.
Tottenham Hotspur's Kieran McKenna and Robert Garrett, who is on-loan from Stoke City to Wrexham, both picked up second yellow cards in the 2-1 win in Luxembourg and are missing through suspension.
That may mean Glentoran's Daryl Fordyce dropping into his club position in the centre of midfield, with his usual role for the Under-21s being as partner to Thomas Stewart in attack.