Sunderland defender wins Northern Ireland call-up but no place for Will Grigg

Tom Flanagan has been called-up to the Northern Ireland squad for their Euro 2020 qualifiers.

By Richard Mennear
Thursday, 30 May, 2019, 16:42
Sunderland defender Tom Flanagan.

But there is no place for Sunderland striker Will Grigg as he recovers from an ongoing ankle issue.

Grigg has been struggling with an ankle injury since joining the Black Cats in January from Wigan Athletic on deadline day.

The striker came off the bench in the League One play-off final defeat to Charlton Athletic at Wembley last weekend but his season is now over after not being included in the latest Northern Ireland squad.

Earlier this week the striker reflected on a disappointing start to his Sunderland career.

Speaking to the Echo, Grigg said: "We'll be back in probably four weeks and it'll be back to business, trying to rectify and put everything right.

"For me personally, I need to get a good pre-season and hit the ground running.

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"This is the first time I've fallen short in this league, it's been a disappointing season for myself and I want to make sure it doesn't happen again next season."

Northern Ireland take on Estonia in Tallinn on June 8 before a trip to Belarus on June 11.

Hearts defender Aaron Hughes, Northern Ireland's most-capped outfield player with 112 caps, has been included in the squad.

The former Newcastle centre-half is expected to retire as a player this summer and did not feature in Hearts' Scottish Cup final defeat to Celtic last weekend.

O'Neill's squad head to Austria on Monday in preparation for next Saturday's match against Estonia in Tallinn.

Northern Ireland currently sit top of Group C, three points ahead of Germany, who have a game in hand, and Holland after winning both of their opening matches against Estonia and Belarus in Belfast in March.