Defender Ryan McGivern’s chances of a place in Northern Ireland’s Euro 2016 squad have suffered a major blow.
McGivern would have been hopeful of a call-up after Chris Brunt, who has been playing at left-back, was ruled out of Euro 2016. McGivern has previously played as a left-back for his country and has 23 full caps for his country.
However, the Port Vale player has been overlooked as Northern Ireland preferred to hand uncapped Peterborough defender Michael Smith a call-up for the friendly games against Wales and Slovenia this month.
Northern Ireland have earmarked four friendly games ahead of the finals and if McGivern also misses out on the squad to face Belarus and Solovakia in May then his chances of a place at Euro 2016 look bleak.
Northern Ireland squad for friendlies against Wales and Slovenia
Goalkeepers: Roy Carroll, Michael McGovern, Alan Mannus
Defenders: Aaron Hughes, Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans, Craig Cathcart, Lee Hodson, Conor McLaughlin, Daniel Lafferty, Luke McCullough, Paddy McNair, Michael Smith
Midfielders: Steven Davis, Niall McGinn, Oliver Norwood, Shane Ferguson, Stuart Dallas
Forwards: Kyle Lafferty, Jamie Ward, Josh Magennis, Billy McKay, Liam Boyce, Conor Washington