MX23RW : Tuesday, December 11 09:39:49

Chris Brunt, Martin Paterson doubts for Northern Ireland?

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill insists that Chris Brunt and Martin Paterson's absences from training in Israel were "just precautionary".

Chris Brunt and Martin Paterson sat out Northern Ireland training on Sunday, but are not expected to be fitness concerns for their World Cup qualifier against Israel this week.

Both players were carrying minor injuries during the 2-0 defeat to Azerbaijan on Friday, and manager Michael O'Neill has insisted that their absence from the session was "just precautionary".

"Brunty and Martin won't be training but it is just precautionary and we expect both to be fine for the game," O'Neill told reporters.

"The lads who played can do very little work two days after a game anyway - it's more of a recovery session for them but the lads who didn't play can do a little more. The majority of work for the match will be done the day before the game."

O'Neill will definitely be without suspended trio Jonny Evans, Oliver Norwood and Gareth McAuley for the match in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, which will be the last of their Group F campaign.


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Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill on the touchline during the World Cup qualifier against Portugal on September 6, 2013
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