Doncaster Rovers: Ferguson to hold talks over McCullough's Northern Ireland call

Darren Ferguson hopes to reach a compromise over Luke McCullough when he holds talks with Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill.

Thursday, 17th March 2016, 9:53 pm
Updated Friday, 18th March 2016, 5:35 pm
Luke McCullough

Defender McCullough has been called up to the Northern Ireland squad for the friendlies with Wales and Slovenia.

His call-up would see him miss Rovers' vital Easter weekend double header against Colchester United and Blackpool, two sides below them in the table.

Ferguson admits he is keen to retain McCullough but says he would find it difficult to stand in the 22-year-old's way as he looks to secure a place in the squad for Euro 2016.

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"I think I've got be careful with this," Ferguson said.

"The priority is us, especially with the position that we're in and with a player I feel is playing well at the moment.

"I've had a conversation with Luke about it and I'll have a conversation with Michael and see where we go with it. They are only friendlies so we'll see what we can do.

"I don't want to scupper the boy's chances of playing in a tournament like that. It's the biggest they've been in so you have to consider that.

"But I've also got to be aware that my loyalties lie with Doncaster."

O'Neill has admitted he omitted some League One and Two players from his squad due to the busy Easter period.

Wigan forward Will Grigg is believed to be one of the players who would have been called-up if his club did not have two important games over the weekend.

O'Neill said: "The players we have in the Football League in the squad, there are six or seven in League One and League Two, who will miss their club games over Easter which is a vital time for clubs so I was conscious of that.

"For certain players it was better for them to stay at their clubs and continue to play."

McCullough has won five caps for Northern Ireland and was last called up to the senior squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers with Greece and Finland in October, coming off the bench in the former.