Belfast Telegraph

Romania's injury crisis a major blow for Northern Ireland

By Stuart McKinley

Northern Ireland fans' hopes of getting a favour from Romania have suffered a setback.

Romanian manager Anghel Iordanescu has been hit with an injury crisis before his team faces Hungary in Budapest on Friday evening.

He has promoted striker Claudiu Bumba from the under-21s, but is without a large number of regulars.

"I know we have the quality to qualify for Euro 2016. I trust the players who were called up," said Iordanescu.

"This is not a good period for us. Compared with the last match, 0-0 in Northern Ireland, nine important players are missing."

A win for Romania in Budapest would give Michael O'Neill's side the opportunity to secure qualification for the finals if they also beat Hungary - provided they come back from the Faroe Islands with three points on Friday night.

Two players who scored against Linfield in this season's Europa League are in the Faroe Islands squad to face Northern Ireland on Friday night.

Pol Johannus Justinussen and Klaemint A Olsen both netted in Runavik's 4-3 win over the Blues in the second leg of their contest back in July - a tie which Linfield won 5-4.

Northern Ireland manager O'Neill has made one addition to his squad, with Billy McKay replacing the injured Ben Reeves.

O'Neill expects Chris Brunt and captain Steven Davis to play on Friday despite not training yesterday.

Meanwhile Shane Ferguson has extended his loan at Millwall until January.

Belfast Telegraph