BREAKING: New injury worry as in-form Portsmouth winger withdraws from Northern Ireland squad and Fratton starlet gets maiden call-up
and live on Freeview channel 276
Pompey have been handed another injury concern as Paddy Lane was forced to pull out of international duty.
But the winger’s frustration at having to step down from involvement with the Northern Ireland squad has led to a maiden senior call-up for Terry Devlin.
Lane is out of contention for his country’s upcoming encounters with Finland and Denmark, after not being able to train since linking up with Michael O’Neill’s squad.
The 22-year-old joined his country with a calf ‘knock’ off the back of Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Charlton Athletic at Fratton Park.
Lane has now been forced to return to the club’s Hilsea base, where the issue will be assessed.
Pompey fans will be hoping the news isn’t bad for the £250,000 signing from Fleetwood, who has been in fine form this term.
Defender Regan Poole was ruled out for the season on Saturday, despite initial reports being upbeat about the extent of his knee injury picked up in the FA Cup defeat at Chesterfield.
Lane has bagged three goals to date and has been the pick of John Mousinho’s players in wide areas.
It means Devlin gets his chance to impress, however, after previously being called into the senior squad for training.
The 20-year-old steps up from under-21 level, after making his mark in recent weeks following a goal on his full league bow against Reading last month.
Northern Ireland boss O’Neill explained the situation over Lane and Devlin, who has been joined by keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell and midfielder Brad Lyons in leaving their country’s camp.
O’Neill told the Northern Ireland website: ‘Sadly we weren’t able to get Bailey, Brad or Paddy on the grass in recent days so they return home with our best wishes.
‘Equally it’s a great chance for Michael, Terry and Caolan to join the squad to make a positive contribution.
‘I am aware this affects Tommy Wright’s under-21 squad but he, like all of us, recognises the amount of injuries we are dealing with and we hope they can return to play a part with his squad after the Denmark game on Monday.’