Ward recalled by Irish

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Sheffield United striker Jamie Ward has been recalled to the Northern Ireland squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Poland and Slovakia.

Ward, who scored in the 3-1 victory at Reading on Saturday, sat out the draw with Israel in a friendly.

Manager Nigel Worthington has named five strikers in all with record scorer David Healy, Kyle Lafferty, Martin Paterson and Andrew Little all called up.

Fulham defender Chris Baird is suspended for the match against Poland in Chorzow on September 5 but available to face Slovakia at home four days later.

Maik Taylor looks likely to continue in goal even though he has lost his place to Joe Hart at Birmingham as both Jonny Tuffey and Alan Mannus are inexperienced.

Northern Ireland still harbour hopes of qualifying but Worthington knows they need to improve a dreadful away record if their dream is to become a reality.

Northern Ireland squad to face Poland and Slovakia in World Cup qualifiers on September 5 and 9:

Taylor (Birmingham), Mannus (Shamrock Rovers), Tuffey (Partick); Craigan (Motherwell), Hughes (Fulham), McAuley (Ipswich), McGivern (Manchester City), Baird (Fulham), Evans (Manchester United), McCartney (Sunderland), Coates (Crusaders); McCann (Scunthorpe), Brunt (West Brom), McGinn (Celtic), Clingan (Coventry ), Johnson (Birmingham), Davis (Rangers); Healy (Sunderland), Little (Rangers), Paterson (Burnley), Lafferty (Rangers), Ward (Sheffield United).

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Jamie Ward
Ipswich Town
West Bromwich Albion
Kyle Lafferty
Joe Hart
Manchester City
Scunthorpe United
Manchester United
Chris Baird
Sheffield United
David Healy
Coventry City
Martin Paterson
Maik Taylor

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