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Alex Bruce called up for Northern Ireland among five uncapped players

Updated: Friday, 25 Jan 2013 11:24 | Comments

Alex Bruce declared his intention to play for Northern Ireland last year
Alex Bruce declared his intention to play for Northern Ireland last year

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill has called up five uncapped players for next month's friendly against Malta.

Striker Kyle Lafferty, who is suspended for the next World Cup qualifier against Russia, has been left out so in-form Inverness striker Billy McKay will hope to be given a chance up front after being included.

Tranmere forward Adam McGurk has been called up for the first time while 18-year-old Liverpool winger Ryan McLaughlin and Hull defender Alex Bruce, who has previously played for the Republic of Ireland, will be hoping to win their first caps.

Uncapped Bury goalkeeper Trevor Carson is also included for the 6 February game, but Fulham defender Chris Baird joins Lafferty on the sidelines as he is also suspended for the Russia game.

Northern Ireland squad to face Malta in friendly at Ta'qali National Stadium on 6 February: R Carroll (Olympiacos), A Mannus (St Johnstone), T Carson (Bury), A Hughes (Fulham), R McGivern (Manchester City, on loan at Hibernian), J Evans (Man Utd), C Cathcart (Blackpool), G McAuley ( West Brom), A Bruce (Hull), D Lafferty (Burnley), S Davis (captain, Southampton), O Norwood (Huddersfield), C Evans (Hull), N McGinn (Aberdeen), C Brunt (West Brom), S Ferguson (Newcastle), R McLaughlin (Liverpool), D Shiels (Rangers), W Grigg (Walsall), J Ward (Derby), B McKay (Inverness), P McCourt (Celtic), A McGurk (Tranmere).

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