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Healy left out of Nations Cup squad


David Healy

David Healy

David Healy

Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington has left out record goalscorer David Healy for next week's Carling Nations Cup double-header in Dublin.

The Rangers striker did not get much game-time as the Light Blues wrapped up the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title, having left Sunderland for more regular football in January.

Worthington did not consider the 31-year-old for the friendly against Morocco in November, but recalled him for February's Nations Cup defeat by Scotland. The former Manchester United striker was suspended for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Slovenia in March.

Meanwhile, Worthington has called up three new faces for the matches against the Republic of Ireland and Wales, 17-year-old Josh Carson, Stuart Dallas, 20, and Jordan Owens, 21.

Ipswich midfielder Carson, a graduate of the Suffolk club's academy, only made his debut for the npower Championship side in March and the following month scored three goals in a week for Paul Jewell's team.

Fellow midfielder Dallas picked up both the Northern Ireland Football Writers' Association Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards after an impressive 2010-11 campaign, while Crusaders team-mate Jordan Owens has already represented his country at Under-19, Under-21 and Under-23 levels.

Irish League players Alan Blayney, Robert Garrett and Colin Coates are also included in a youthful 20-man squad.

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Northern Ireland are without most of their key players for the contests at the Aviva Stadium, with Birmingham goalkeeper Maik Taylor, defenders Aaron Hughes (Fulham) and Stephen Craigan (Motherwell), West Brom midfielders Chris Brunt and Celtic winger Patrick McCourt all rested. Worthington's men face the Republic on Tuesday, before tackling Wales three days later.

Northern Ireland squad: Tuffey (Inverness), Blayney (Linfield); Hodson (Watford), Cathcart (Blackpool), Coates (Crusaders), McAuley (Ipswich), McGivern (Man City), Thompson (Watford); Carson (Ipswich), Clingan (Coventry), McGinn (Celtic), Dallas (Crusaders), Davis (Rangers), Garrett (Linfield), Gorman (Wolves), Norwood (Man Utd); Boyce (Werder Bremen), Feeney (Oldham), McQuoid (Millwall), Owens (Crusaders).

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