Carroll out of Irish squad
By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll has been forced to withdraw with a back strain while Hibernian defender Colin Murdock has pulled out of Saturday's match with a thigh injury.
It means that the former Macclesfield Town boss might have to draft in replacements from the country's Under-21 squad to fill the two spots, with McIlroy again lamenting the loss of key players through injury.
"When it got to Sunday night and it appeared everybody was okay, I was delighted but the old hoodoo has struck again," revealed McIlroy.
Northern Ireland sit at the foot of Group Six with two points from five matches played and they would need victory in their three remaining qualifiers to have a remote chance of reaching the play-offs.
Meanwhile, the Irish Football Association have announced that Northern Ireland will travel to the Caribbean next year for a three-match summer tour.
McIlroy's men will play Jamaica on May 30, St. Kitts and Nevis on June 2 and Trinidad & Tobago on June 6, as preparation ahead of the 2006 World Cup qualifiers in the autumn of 2004.