Blackpool faced with decision as international call-up disrupts Derby and Wycombe plans

It's good news for one Blackpool player who is called up for international duty - but there's some disruption for Neil Critchley.
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Blackpool striker Shayne Lavery has been drafted in to the Northern Ireland squad for their upcoming matches.

The Belfast Telegraph have reported that Lavery has linked up with his compatriots after earning a recall. He was initially left out of Michael O'Neill's original squad last week but following the withdrawal of Jamal Lewis and Ross McCausland, a place has opened up.

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They will train at Manchester City's Etihad training complex before jetting off to Bucharest for their match against Romania later this week. Northern Ireland play Romania on Friday, March 22 at the Arena Nationala as the first part of an away double header. O'Neill's men then play fellow home nation Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday, March 26.

Lavery earns a recall to the squad having not made the September, October or November camps. He has got three goals in 19 games for his country having made his debut as a 19-year-old under Michael O'Neill in May 2018. He will not miss a match for Blackpool as their match with Fleetwood Town, originally scheduled for Saturday, March 23 was postponed because of call-ups for the opposition.

His inclusion makes him the only senior Blackpool player to be called up for international duty for March 2024. The striker's call-up does slightly affect preparations for the Seasiders next match though.

Blackpool travel to Pride Park to face Derby County on Good Friday (March 29) and then play host to Wycombe Wanderers at Bloomfield Road on Easter Monday (April 1). The short amount of days between recovery from potentially playing for his country and then having two games in quick succession leaves Neil Critchley with a decision over his play time.

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The 25-year-old has hit the back of the net six times this season in 30 games in all competitions. His last goal came from the penalty spot against Peterborough United in mid-February and before that his last goal from open play was against Bromley in the FA Cup in early November.

An injury to Jordan Rhodes in their defeat to Wigan Athletic however could prompt him in to having a more prominent role in the end of season run in. Rhodes injured his knee at the DW Stadium and Neil Critchley said that he would undergo a scan to assess the damage, where they would hope for good news.

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