Northern Ireland call up Clingan

  • Last Updated: September 4 2012, 21:07 BST

Midfielder Sammy Clingan has been added to the Northern Ireland squad for the World Cup qualifying double header against Russia and Luxembourg.

Sammy Clingan: Called up as cover

Clingan is currently without a club having left Coventry at the end of last season and was left out of Michael O'Neill's 23-man squad for the matches as a result.

But with winger Paddy McCourt (groin) dropping out of the games and Martin Paterson (hamstring) and Shane Ferguson (groin) both missing the Russia clash in Moscow on Friday, O'Neill has called up Clingan as cover.

Paterson and Ferguson will both be assessed before the home match against Luxembourg on Tuesday, but Clingan will remain with the squad regardless of their fitness.

The 28-year-old is not a like-for-like replacement for any of the three injured players but he offers another defensive option in midfield, which may be particularly handy in Moscow where Northern Ireland are likely to be on the back foot.

Clingan captained the side just two matches ago in a 6-0 defeat by Holland but O'Neill has made it clear he must find regular club football soon to stand any chance of continuing his international ambitions.

His selection as cover will come as a further disappointment to Peterborough's Grant McCann.

The 32-year-old was a regular under Nigel Worthington and was placed on standby for the current squad after being overlooked.

Friday's game in Moscow sees O'Neill take charge of his first competitive match since replacing Worthington at the start of the year.