INTERNATIONAL: It’s a half century for McGinn

Niall McGinn is in line to collect his 50th cap this evening at Windsor Park. Pic: Presseye.
Niall McGinn is in line to collect his 50th cap this evening at Windsor Park. Pic: Presseye.

Niall McGinn will become the 33rd player to win his 50th cap for Northern Ireland tonight - despite being one of the squad’s most unlucky players.

Boss Michael O’Neill was almost apologetic when he spoke of McGinn’s international career, which has yielded also as many substitute appearances as starting spots.

“Niall’s been great,” said the manager. “He probably suffers a little bit from a tactical aspect of our team.

“For example, if we play with three at the back, it’s tough to find a place for Niall in the starting line-up.

“Maybe sometimes he’s given us more off the bench. You look back and Niall’s return in terms of goals and assists is very high relative to his time on the pitch.

“He’s found a little niche. You know you’re going to get something from him. If the game’s going against you, he has the ability to get you back into it.

“I think it’s great that a player like Niall, who plays for Aberdeen, has 50 caps and joins a great bunch of players who have got to that level.”