As February draws to a close, that can mean only one thing. No, not St Patrick McNair Day, but the return of international football. In the build-up to Ian Baraclough’s first start of a campaign as Northern Ireland boss, we will be keeping up to date with the squad as they go about their club duties.
Not much has changed since the squad last met up: Peacock-Farrell is still a regular on the Burnley bench with only three appearances since the 1-1 draw with Romania in November. He watched his team lose 4-0 to Spurs on Sunday.
Celtic goalkeeper Conor Hazard was also on the bench as they beat Niall McGinn and Matty Kennedy’s Aberdeen 1-0 on Saturday, but he has since extended his contract until 2023. Michael McGovern remains on the physio table at Norwich.
Craig Cathcart has been in and out of the Watford side in recent months, primarily due to injury, but he made his third start in four games as his side lost 1-0 to Bournemouth.
Jonny Evans could do nothing to prevent his Leicester City side losing ground in the title race in a 3-1 defeat to Arsenal but worryingly was substituted due to a groin problem.
Dan Ballard, on loan from Arsenal to Blackpool, played the full 90 in a good 3-0 away win to Conor Washington’s Charlton. Jamal Lewis and Stuart Dallas featured for their respective Premier League sides as Newcastle drew with Wolves and Leeds lost to Aston Villa.
Michael Smith made his eighth start in a row for Hearts as they drew 1-1 for the third game running, with Liam Boyce the scorer with his 14th goal of the season. Conor McLaughlin is in favour currently at Sunderland and Jordan Jones shone off the bench scoring an excellent goal from outside of the box.
Paddy McNair moved into midfield for Middlesbrough’s 1-1 draw with Cardiff after predominantly playing in defence this season. George Saville was an unused substitute. 21 year old Ali McCann was part of the victorious St Johnstone side who beat Livingston 1-0 to get their hands on the Scottish League Cup.
Josh Magennis scored a penalty as Hull City beat Wimbledon 3-0 with Gavin Whyte coming on as a second half substitute. Kyle Lafferty, who recently moved from Italy to join Tommy Wright at Kilmarnock, made his first start at his third Scottish Premiership side.
There are just two weekends of club football to go before a triple header for Northern Ireland. The opposition looks tough with Italy, USA and Bulgaria to face, but the squad look to be in fair form for their clubs as the days tick down.