Fratton faithful all say same thing after Portsmouth winger is outed for international snub while Millwall and Derby are duo handed rests

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Pompey fans on social media have rallied around Paddy Lane after it emerged he declined an offer to link up with Northern Ireland for two upcoming summer international friendlies.

The winger, who was a mainstay of the Blues side that secured the League One title this season, told manager Michael O’Neill that ‘he felt he’d benefit from not being involved’ in forthcoming games against Spain and Andorra respectively.

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The Windsor Park boss has subsequently cast doubt on the 23-year-old’s commitment to the GAWA cause, despite handing Millwall midfielder George Savage and Derby striker Conor Washington rests for the games in Mallorca (June 8) and Murcia (June 11).

But the stance adopted by O’Neil hasn’t gone down well with the Fratton faithful. They’ve rounded on the former Stoke manager for namedropping Lane. They’ve also backed the Blues forward – who contributed 12 goals and seven assists for John Mousinho’s title-winners - for the decision he’s made following an intense season at PO4.

Here’s a selection of the views shared on our Facebook page and X, formerly Twitter…

Matt Marsh: Paddy can do what he wants. I’m pretty sure, if he’s doing well in the Championship next season, Michael O’Neill won’t be talking about this again either. He’ll just be picking him to play!!!

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Ryan Tout: The lad looked knackered towards the end of the season, a rest would benefit him more than trying to play when he’s not 100%. Apparently that’s the wrong attitude though despite the fact other members of the squad were given the option to not be involved.

@JohnnyGib68: That is the best news all week. Paddy was shattered by the end of L1. He had given every ounce of his being to get us up. His body needs time to heal for our Champ season. Putting Pompey 1st means I love him even more, if possible. Overlooked by Ireland while in good form is key.

Joshua Norris: Seems to me that if Paddy doesn't want to play he shouldn't have to. The NI head coach needs to not be so pressuring. Paddy isn't employed by NI, he chooses to, which means he can choose not to. He isn't obligated. If he feels he needs a break to rest and reset mentally as much as physically then so be it. OK, there might be consequences to this decision in that Paddy may not be picked for the Euros but he isn't the first player to put his own wellbeing before football nor he is the first person to take a back step from doing to simply rest and be still after a busy and mentally draining period. Enjoy your rest Paddy.

@Winstonsav1237: O’Neill was quick enough to drop NI when Stoke knocked on his door so he’s no room to talk about commitment let alone have a rant to the press about it

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Michael Clifton: Fair to Paddy for being honest, worked his socks off for us last season but it was there for everyone to see in the final few weeks of the season it did catch up with him, Northern Ireland are not blessed with a pool of players so chances will come again for Paddy in the future.

Terry Matthewson: So “It was decided to give George Saville and Conor Washington a break” yet he is happy to hang Paddy out to dry. I’d like to hear what Paddy has to say.

Frank Bartlett: Too much football, they never get a break. If he feels he needs time away well he knows best.

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