With just one weekend of club football remaining before the pivotal November international break, Northern Ireland’s squad are continuing to hit good form for their respective clubs. However, worryingly for Ian Baraclough, the injuries are mounting. As has been the norm in recent times, we head into the international break without any goalkeepers playing regular first team football. Peacock-Farrell and McGovern were both on the bench for Burnley and Norwich City respectively. Whilst Trevor Carson underwent an operation on the injury which he received in last weekend’s Scottish Premiership fixture.

Jonny Evans was absent due to injury as Leicester beat Leeds 4-1 on Monday night. Stuart Dallas was the scorer of the solitary goal for the hosts. Craig Cathcart played the full 90 minutes for Watford as they lost 1-0 to Barnsley. Jamal Lewis featured again for Newcastle United as they enjoyed an impressive 2-1 win against Everton. Tom Flanagan and Conor McLaughlin both played the full 90 minutes for Sunderland as they beat Gillingham 2-0 away from home. Conor’s brother, Ryan, continued his good form as Rochdale drew 1-1 with Bristol Rovers.

Sunderland v Oxford 2019/20 goal celebration
Sunderland… when our Norn Iron lads used to have fans to play in front of

McNair and Saville continue to be favoured by Neil Warnock as Middlesbrough beat Nottingham Forest 1-0. Corry Evans started for Blackburn Rovers as they lost 1-0 to Swansea. Niall McGinn was a second half substitute for Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup Final against Celtic – he could do nothing to prevent a 2-0 defeat. Similarly, Steven Davis was called on by Steven Gerrard in the second half to solidify the Rangers midfield as they fought to keep hold of their 1-0 win away to Kilmarnock. Jordan Thompson helped Michael O’Neill’s Stoke City continue their good start to the season with a 1-0 win against Rotherham United.

Liam Boyce again showed his expertise from the penalty spot whilst under pressure, scoring a 111th minute winner against Hibs in the Scottish Cup semi-final. Josh Magennis was a second half substitute for Hull City as they lost 2-1 to Swindon Town. Conor Washington started for Charlton Athletic as they beat Portsmouth 2-0 whereas Paul Smyth was a second half substitute. Gavin Whyte and Kyle Lafferty were unused substitutes for their respective clubs.

Liam Boyce and Paddy McCourt Qatar v Northern Ireland 2015 Derry Pele
Boycie – from when he used to play alongside Pele

In further squad news, it was announced on Monday that Jordan Jones would not feature in the squad for the November internationals due to having to self-isolate for 14 days. This comes after he and Rangers teammate George Edmundson, was discovered to have attended a party on Saturday night, in doing so breaching Scotland’s Covid regulations.

This is a fair dent to Baraclough’s attacking midfield options. He will be hoping that there are no further forced notable absentees before he names his squad later this week.