Paddy McNair on his World Cup dream after Northern Ireland recall

McNair is back in the Northern Ireland squad
McNair is back in the Northern Ireland squad
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Paddy McNair has been recalled to the Northern Ireland squad for next month's World Cup play-off against Switzerland.

McNair, who has 12 senior international caps, made his Sunderland comeback on Saturday in a 10 minute cameo from the bench.

That was his first competitive action since a cruciate ligament injury sustained in late 2016.

Whether the 22-year-old can realistically challenge for a place in Michael O'Neill's settled and overachieving side so soon remains to be seen, but the selection comes as a major boost to the midfielder.

He said: "It's been a really exciting time for Northern Ireland and to miss out on that has been hard.

"The lads are so close. It's hard to explain, but I think when you get on that run which really began at the start of the Euro campaign – I think we won away at Hungary in the first game – and ever since then, every game we went into believing that we could win.

"There's a great mood and it's brilliant to be a part of that.

"To play in a World Cup is every lad's dream. It's the biggest stage for you to show how good you are and test yourself against the best players in the world.

"If Northern Ireland got there, it would be a great achievement and I believe we can."

The first leg of the play-off clash will be played at Windsor Park on November 9th, with the return leg in Switzerland taking place on three days later.