Duo out for Northern Ireland

04 September 2014 10:01

Ben Reeves and Alex Bruce have withdrawn from Northern Ireland's squad for their first Euro 2016 qualifier against Hungary.

Michael O'Neill's men have been training together in St Albans this week and travel to Budapest this evening ahead of Sunday's clash.

O'Neill had already planned to cut his 26-strong group by at least two before flying but the decision was taken out of his hands when Reeves and Bruce pulled out.

Uncapped MK Dons midfielder Reeves was in line for a potential debut on the back of his impressive showing in the 4-0 giant-killing of Manchester United but has a hamstring problem, while Bruce's wife has gone into labour.

O'Neill had already lost two squad members prior to the training camp, with Liverpool full-back Ryan McLaughlin suffering a knee injury and Brentford winger Stuart Dallas out with a leg complaint.

Northern Ireland are hoping for an improved performance in a low key Group F, having finished their World Cup 2014 campaign in fifth place and with a solitary win from 10 matches.

But, having played their last seven internationals away from home during Windsor Park's redevelopment, they go in with a record of no goals and three defeats in their last four friendlies.

Source: PA