Derby midfielder Jamie Ward has withdrawn from the Northern Ireland squad
Derby midfielder Jamie Ward has withdrawn from the Northern Ireland squad for the friendlies against Uruguay and Chile.
Last Updated: 21/05/14 5:38pm
Ward is currently preparing for Derby's Championship play-off final against Queens Park Rangers at Wembley on Saturday.
The 28-year-old believes it is not in his best interests, or the interests of the international squad, for him to travel to South America due to his extended club season.
Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill has already called Fleetwood Town's Conor McLaughlin in as a replacement.
McLaughlin will join the squad following the team's League Two play-off final against Burton on Monday.
Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander is glad that McLaughlin's club form has been recognised by selectors.
"It's thoroughly deserved. He's had a great season so far. He has one more game to do for us before he relaxes and goes to be an international," Alexander said.
"We knew there was interest from the manager a few weeks ago but we were fully behind that because he's good enough. It's an honour for the club to have a current international playing for us.
"It's great for Conor because he deserves it, it's great for us because we want to see our players do well.
"But he has to focus on Monday, and Monday only, then I'll let him think about South America afterwards."