Northern Ireland explains why he called up Rangers playmaker


Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill insists Jordan Jones will be desperate to make up for lost time after handing the Rangers winger an international recall.

Jones is one of ten Scottish Premiership-based players named in the squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 play-off semi-final away to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The 25-year-old made his first club appearance in over a month as a substitute in the weekend’s win at Ross County.

(Pic: Sky Sports)

The former Kilmarnock playmaker has only featured a total of four times since he sustained knee ligament damage during his reckless red-card challenge on Celtic’s Moritz Bauer in last September’s 2-0 Old Firm loss.

However, O’Neill, who is also Stoke City’s boss and was linked with a move for Jones in January, is adamant Jones can make an impact for his country

O’Neill said: “Jordan had a difficult year at Rangers and injury kept him out of the games in October and November but what he brings is a bit of quality. 

“I saw him come off the bench on Sunday for Rangers at Ross County and he was good for 20 minutes.

“And he will be very keen to play, he has not played a lot this season. 

“Again he gives us an option in the wide areas.”

O’Neill is also delighted to have Conor Washington at his disposal after the Hearts striker was sidelined for three-and-a-half months at the tail end of last year with a serious hamstring problem.

Speaking to the Northern Ireland FA, he added: “Conor was a blow to us picking up a bad hamstring injury after the Germany game but I’ve seen him a couple of times and he’s gotten himself on the score sheet for Hearts in recent games. 

“Conor has been very good in this campaign and we want strikers who are playing, which they are, and scoring as well.”

Rangers midfielder Steve Davis, Ciaron Brown of Livingston, Aberdeen pair Niall McGinn and Matty Kennedy, Hearts players Michael Smith and Liam Boyce and Mothwell duo Trevor Carson and Liam Donnelly are also included in O’Neill’s squad.