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NI legend Armstrong: Players face peer pressure to switch to Republic


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New chapter: Mark Sykes is now hoping for a Republic call-up

New chapter: Mark Sykes is now hoping for a Republic call-up

Gerry Armstrong

Gerry Armstrong

Stephen Hamilton/Presseye

New chapter: Mark Sykes is now hoping for a Republic call-up

Northern Ireland legend Gerry Armstrong says he's disappointed Mark Sykes has switched his allegiance to the Republic of Ireland and he's suggested players can come under pressure before opting to make the move.

Boss Ian Baraclough was stunned when the Oxford United midfielder informed him he didn't wish to be considered for Northern Ireland squads any longer.

The former Glenavon ace played in Baraclough's Under-21 side and had been called up to three Northern Ireland squads by then manager Michael O'Neill but did not play.