Pat McCourt: Brighton winger recalled to Northern Ireland squad

Pat McCourt
Pat McCourt signed for Brighton in August

Brighton winger Pat McCourt has been recalled for Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Greece in October.

The former Celtic player signed a one-year deal with Brighton in August after being released by Barnsley.

Manchester United defender Jonny Evans, who has been out with an ankle injury, is back in the squad after suspension.

Ryan McLaughlin and Ben Reeves return after missing the win over Hungary with injury, while Ryan McGivern is back.

Both McLaughlin and the uncapped Reeves were included in manager Michael O'Neill's initial squad for the Group F opener in Budapest.

Hull City defender Alex Bruce withdrew from that squad as his wife was about to give birth, but is not included in the squad for this double-header.

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Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill says he is happy to have Jim Magilton as his interim assistant after new Watford Head Coach Billy McKinlay stood down from the job.

Burnley defender Daniel Lafferty is also missing from O'Neill's 27-strong squad, having not yet featured for the Premier League club this season.

Evans had been expected to be missing until after the international break, but O'Neill is holding out hope he could play some part for the Red Devils against Everton on Sunday.

"I have an ongoing dialogue with Manchester United and I've been keeping in touch with Jonny too. We're hopeful he'll be fit," said O'Neill.

"We're taking it day by day but hopefully he'll be available for us and we wouldn't want to rule him out at this stage.

"What's important is that he's right to play and we'll see what materialises in the next few days."

There was no place for 19-year-old Paddy McNair, who made a surprise debut for United as Evans' stand-in in the win over West Ham, but he could yet be involved if his club-mate is forced out.

McCourt scored two outstanding goals against the Faroe Islands when the sides met at Windsor Park in the previous European Championship qualifying campaign in August 2011.

Northern Ireland came from behind to secure an encouraging 2-1 victory over the Hungarians on 7 September, and now face the Faroes in Belfast on 11 October, followed the Greece match three days later.

NI squad: Goalkeepers: Roy Carroll (Notts County), Alan Mannus (St Johnstone), Michael McGovern (Hamilton Academical).

Defenders: Aaron Hughes (Brighton & Hove Albion), Chris Baird (West Bromwich Albion), Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion), Jonathan Evans (Manchester United), Ryan McGivern (Port Vale), Craig Cathcart (Watford), Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood Town), Luke McCullough (Doncaster Rovers), Ryan McLaughlin (Liverpool)

Midfielders: Steven Davis (Southampton), Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion), Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock), Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers), Oliver Norwood (Reading), Shane Ferguson (Newcastle United), Paul Paton (Dundee United), Ben Reeves (MK Dons), Pat McCourt (Brighton & Hove Albion)

Forwards: Kyle Lafferty (Norwich City), Niall McGinn (Aberdeen), Jamie Ward (Derby County), Billy McKay (Inverness C.T.), Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock), Will Grigg (MK Dons)

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