Northern Ireland quartet out of South Korea friendly in Belfast

Steven Davis
Steven Davis has scored 10 goals in his 101 appearances for Northern Ireland
International friendly: Northern Ireland v South Korea
Venue: Windsor Park, Belfast Date: Saturday, 24 March Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Ulster FM and the BBC Sport website

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis, Kyle Lafferty, Stuart Dallas and Niall McGinn will miss Saturday's friendly against South Korea at Windsor Park.

Southampton midfielder Davis was first to withdraw from the squad because of a hamstring injury.

Davis has missed Southampton's last five games with the injury.

He was followed later on Thursday by Hearts striker Lafferty (thigh), Leeds United winger Dallas (thigh) and Aberdeen's Niall McGinn (groin).

The withdrawals mean manager Michael O'Neill could turn to the U21s to swell his squad.

However, he is unsure if he would actually select any of Ian Barraclough's players given the senior game is sandwiched between two huge U21 qualifiers, against Spain and Iceland, in their bid to reach Euro 2019.

"We have to be careful with the players given the time of year it is and the nature of the game.

"The game will provide an opportunity for some of those players like Jordan Jones and Jamal Lewis and one or two others.

"The U21s play on Thursday so there is always the opportunity to add one or two of those players from that squad into the senior game as well.

"If an U21 player or players come in, it won't just be for the experience - it will be because we believe they can contribute as well. They also have a game on Monday so we also have to balance that."

Northern Ireland squad:

Goalkeepers: Michael McGovern (Norwich City), Trevor Carson (Motherwell), Conor Hazard (Falkirk on loan)

Defenders: Aaron Hughes (Hearts), Gareth McAuley (West Brom), Jonny Evans (West Brom), Craig Cathcart (Watford), Conor McLaughlin (Millwall), Lee Hodson (Rangers), Paddy McNair (Sunderland), Jamal Lewis (Norwich City)

Midfielders: Oliver Norwood (Fulham on loan), Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers), Shane Ferguson (Millwall), George Saville (Millwall), Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock)

Forwards: Josh Magennis (Charlton Athletic), Jamie Ward (Cardiff City on loan), Conor Washington (QPR), Liam Boyce (Burton Albion)

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