Euro 2016 qualifiers: Mannus and Hodson back for double-header

Lee Hodson is recalled for the qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Hungary
Lee Hodson is recalled for the qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Hungary

Alan Mannus and Lee Hodson have been recalled to the Northern Ireland squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Hungary.

St Johnstone keeper Mannus and MK Dons defender Hodson missed June's draw with Group F leaders Romania in Belfast.

Trevor Carson, Daniel Lafferty and Luke McCullough drop out of the 26-man panel named by boss Michael O'Neill.

Northern Ireland, who lie just a point behind Romania, face the Faroes on 4 September and Hungary three days later.

Kyle Lafferty, Chris Brunt and Jamie Ward are included in the squad despite injury concerns over the trio.

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Injury concerns for NI manager O'Neill

Lafferty, who has scored five times for O'Neill's side this campaign, has been ruled out of Norwich's opening matches of the season through injury.

However, the striker returned to first-team training with the Canaries earlier this week.

He will be available for selection for the trip to the Faroes and the Windsor Park clash against Hungary, who are third in the group and two points behind Northern Ireland.

West Brom midfielder Brunt limped off after 14 minutes in Tuesday night's Capital One Cup clash against Port Vale with a hamstring problem.

There were concerns a hamstring injury earlier this month would force Nottingham Forest striker Ward out of international duty.

O'Neill said on Wednesday that the fitness of Shane Ferguson and Ben Reeves is also being monitored.

Jonny Evans, out of favour at Manchester United, has also been included.

Northern Ireland's remaining Euro 2016 Group F qualifiers
Faroe Islands (away)Friday, 4 September 2015
Hungary (home)Monday, 7 September 2015
Greece (home)Thursday, 8 October 2015
Finland (away)Sunday, 11 October 2015

West Brom and Everton are both said to be interested in signing the defender who has yet to play for Louis van Gaal's side this season.

Northern Ireland squad:

Goalkeepers: Roy Carroll (Notts County), Michael McGovern (Hamilton Academicals), Alan Mannus (St Johnstone)

Defenders: Aaron Hughes (Melbourne City), Chris Baird (Derby County), Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion), Jonny Evans (Manchester United), Craig Cathcart (Watford), Shane Ferguson (Newcastle United), Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood Town), Paddy McNair (Manchester United), Lee Hodson (MK Dons)

Midfielders: Steve Davis (Southampton), Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion), Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers), Oliver Norwood (Reading), Pat McCourt (Luton Town), Stuart Dallas (Leeds United), Ben Reeves (MK Dons)

Forwards: Kyle Lafferty (Norwich City), Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock), Will Grigg (Wigan Athletic), Niall McGinn (Aberdeen), Jamie Ward (Nottingham Forest), Caolan Lavery (Sheffield Wednesday), Liam Boyce (Ross County)

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