Two further withdrawals from NI squad

Two further withdrawals from NI squad

Northern Ireland's football squad has been hit by another blow ahead of their first Euro 2016 qualifier against Hungary.

Ben Reeves and Alex Bruce have withdrawn from the squad.Michael O'Neill's men have been training together in St Albans this week and travel to Budapest on Thursday evening ahead of Sunday's clash.O'Neill had already planned to cut his 26-strong group by at least two before flying - but the decision was taken out of his hands when Reeves and Bruce pulled out.Uncapped MK Dons midfielder Reeves has a hamstring problem. He was in line for a potential debut on the back of his impressive showing in the 4-0 giant-killing of Manchester United.Meanwhile, Bruce's wife has gone into labour.O'Neill had already lost two squad members prior to the training camp.Brentford winger Stuart Dallas is out with a leg complaint.Dallas, who earned his only previous cap against Wales in a much-depleted Carling Nations Cup side three years ago, had been added to the preliminary group for the opening Euro 2016 qualifier in Hungary on Monday.Preston's Andy Little has now been called up.Liverpool full-back Ryan McLaughlin is suffering a knee injury and had to withdraw on Tuesday evening.The 19-year-old tweeted: "Gutted I had to pull out of the ni squad injuries always comes at the worst time, hope to be back in a couple of weeks. #NoLuck."Northern Ireland are hoping for an improved performance in a low key Group F, having finished their World Cup 2014 campaign in fifth place and with a solitary win from 10 matches.But, having played their last seven internationals away from home during Windsor Park's redevelopment, they go in with a record of no goals and three defeats in their last four friendlies.


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