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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Hughes doubtful for N Ireland

Northern Ireland defender Aaron Hughes is rated as extremely doubtful for their World Cup qualifier with Portugal at Windsor Park on Friday.

Last Updated: 05/09/13 at 11:14 Post Comment

Aaron Hughes: Injury doubt for Northern Ireland

Aaron Hughes: Injury doubt for Northern Ireland

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The Fulham player is struggling with a groin injury he picked up in the final minutes of their 1-0 defeat to Newcastle on Saturday.

Irish boss Michael O'Neill could now be without one of his most experienced players, while Hibernian left-back Ryan McGivern has also emerged as a further injury concern.

McGivern was expected to replace suspended Burnley defender Daniel Lafferty but he missed training on Wednesday with a knock.

Blackpool's Craig Cathcart had already been forced out of the Portugal match and Tuesday's game with Luxembourg with a knee problem and O'Neill confirmed he will have to rejig his defence.

"Aaron has a groin problem from the last few minutes against Newcastle. We're in constant conversation and we left him an extra day with his club," O'Neill told Sky Sports News.

"He'll report today and see how he is, but he's an extreme doubt. Ryan is the same to be honest, an extreme doubt.

"We have Craig Cathcart out too so that limits us slightly. It'll be a different back four to what we had against Russia and we may have to look at players who wouldn't have full-back as their natural position.

"We have options and I don't know I'll call anyone in to be honest, but I'll assess it."

O'Neill had previously boosted his options by calling up versatile Aberdeen player Josh Magennis and Kilmarnock defender Rory McKeown.

But if Hughes and McGivern are forced to drop out he will face a serious selection headache ahead of the double-header.

O'Neill's side are fourth in Group F on six points, five behind third-placed Israel and eight adrift of leaders Portugal, having played a game less than the pacesetters.

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he uber commercialisation of the 90s has led to the point where this overly familar, try hard, jolly hockey sticks type fronts up a major football match on a weekly basis. Unlike the great presenters of yesteryear, I doubt he would even recognise the scent of Brut.

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opefully Jose turns up to the game wearing a T-Shirt with Costa's face on, that's the classy thing to do in these situations right?

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onfirmed. Nick Miller is a douche bag. Lazy, incoherent rant is what this article should be titled. And for the editor to have the temerity to pass this as acceptable writing is shocking. Ah well, anything for clicks right? You got mine. Well done. Your mother must be proud.

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