It was the last weekend of club fixtures before the pivotal November international break and the hope of all the GAWA was an injury-free round of fixtures for the squad. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Peacock-Farrell and McGovern were both again on the bench for their respective clubs, meaning that the goalkeeping choices for Baraclough have all played minimal first team football since the game in Oslo last month.

Corry Evans Northern Ireland press conference
Corry Evans – out injured

Conor McLaughlin and Tom Flanagan both played in Sunderland’s 1-0 defeat to Mansfield Town in the first round of the FA Cup. Craig Cathcart started in Watford’s 3-2 win against Coventry. Dallas and Lewis were both on the wrong side of a result as their sides lost away from home to Crystal Palace and Southampton respectively. The best news of the weekend was seeing Jonny Evans play the full 90 minutes in Leicester City’s 1-0 win against Wolves; three points taking Brendan Rodgers’ side to the top of the Premier League.

Unfortunately, Jonny’s brother, Corry, limped off after just five minutes as Blackburn Rovers beat Queens Park Rangers 3-1. He has since been ruled out of the upcoming international break. Jordan Thompson again played as Stoke City enjoyed an impressive 3-0 win away at Reading. Paddy McNair played, but George Saville was missing for personal reasons as Middlesbrough drew 0-0 with Brentford.

Josh Magennis - Northern Ireland training
Big Josh was on the scoresheet again for Hull

Josh Magennis will go into the international break in a confident mood after putting Hull City ahead in their 2-0 FA Cup victory over Fleetwood Town. Conor Washington was a second half substitute for Charlton Athletic but could do nothing to prevent his side bowing out of the FA Cup at the hands of Plymouth Argyle. Liam Boyce scored the all-important goal for Hearts as they beat Inverness 2-1 in the Scottish Championship.

As a result of the injuries to Corry Evans and Matty Kennedy, Rochdale’s Ryan McLaughlin has been called up to the squad. Apart from that, the squad remains unchanged to the 26-man squad named by Ian Baraclough last week. Bring on the Slovaks! (and Austrians and Romanians).