Northern Ireland name squad for UEFA Nations League double header
Last Updated: 03/10/18 1:40pm
Gareth McAuley and Conor Washington have been left out of Northern Ireland's squad for this month's UEFA Nations League double header.
Rangers defender McAuley will miss the away games against Austria and Bosnia & Herzegovina as he continues to build his fitness, while Washington asked to be excluded for personal reasons.
"Gareth [McAuley] isn't in the squad because he's not ready," said Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill.
"It's in our best interests that Gareth stays at Rangers. He would be an injury risk and that's not fair to him or Rangers."
O'Neill challenged Sunderland defender Tom Flanagan to push for a starting place on his return to the squad, while Oxford winger Gavin Whyte has been included after scoring with his first touch in the friendly win over Israel last month.
"Gavin has got off on the right mark, his form has been good at Oxford and he has got to continue what he is doing," said O'Neill.
Northern Ireland lost 2-1 at home to Bosnia in last month's UEFA Nations League opener. They face Vienna on October 12 before their return fixture with Bosnia three days later.
Northern Ireland squad
Goalkeepers: Michael McGovern, Trevor Carson, Bailey Peacock-Farrell.
Defenders: Aaron Hughes, Jonny Evans, Craig Cathcart, Conor McLaughlin, Paddy McNair, Jamal Lewis, Michael Smith, Tom Flanagan.
Midfielders: Steven Davis, Oliver Norwood, Niall McGinn, Corry Evans, Shane Ferguson, Stuart Dallas, George Saville, Jordan Jones, Gavin Whyte.
Forwards: Kyle Lafferty, Josh Magennis, Jamie Ward, Liam Boyce, Will Grigg.