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1516 burnley danny lafferty 00 630x420While Burnley supporters were delighting in seeing Tom Heaton win his first England cap last night, it is thought that Danny Lafferty already knew his fate, that he would not be in the Northern Ireland squad to travel to France next month for Euro 2016.

Lafferty was in the provisional squad but is expected to be one of the five names not included when manager Michael O’Neill names his final squad today. He, Liam Boyce, Billy McKay, Ben Reeves and Michael Smith are set to be the players missing out.

O’Neill said: “Unfortunately you have to whittle it down to 23 but all of those players have an international career ahead of them and come September, they will certainly be on the radar.”

There will be two former Clarets in the squad. Kyle Lafferty, who scored the first goal in their 3-0 win against Belarus last night, and Chris Baird. Lafferty won his first sixteen caps before leaving Burnley for Rangers in 2008 with Baird playing just once for Northern Ireland during his short stay at Turf Moor.

There could be better news for Stephen Ward. Although he was an unused substitute last night in the republic of Ireland’s 1-1 draw against the Netherlands, he is expected to make Martin O’Neill’s final cut.

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