Wigan Athletic striker Will Grigg has again been ommitted from the Northern Ireland squad at his own request.
The cult hero will not take part in Northern Ireland’s World Cup qualifying games against San Marino and Germany after his partner recently had a baby.
“I don’t want to go into too much but he felt it’s been quite difficult for him even at club level in terms of maintaining his form and fitness,” said Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill.
“He just felt that being away from his family situation for 10 days wasn’t the right thing for him to do.”
Grigg, of course, didn’t make it on to the pitch during Euro 2016, much to the disappointment of his huge support which took off due to the ‘Will Grigg’s on fire’ phenomenon.
But O’Neill rejected any claims that situation had any bearing on Grigg’s omission from the two subsequent squads.
“You can look at it and say that he was disappointed he didn’t play and hasn’t been available since that but I think if that was the case, Will would be big enough to tell me that,” continued the boss. “You’re putting two and two together and getting the wrong answer. It’s just unfortunate, the timing of it.”
Grigg has, actually, been on fire so far this season, scoring five league goals in 10 games for Wigan, adding another in the League Cup.
Full squad: GKs - Michael McGovern (Norwich City), Alan Mannus (St Johnstone), Trevor Carson (Hartlepool United).
DF - Gareth McAuley (West Brom), Jonny Evans (West Brom), Craig Cathcart (Watford). Ryan McGivern (Shrewsbury), Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood Town), Lee Hodson (Rangers), Michael Smith (Peterborough United), Tom Flanagan (Burton Albion).
MF - Steven Davis (Southampton), Niall McGinn (Aberdeen), Oliver Norwood (Brighton), Corry Evans (Blackburn), Jamie Ward (Nottingham Forest), Shane Ferguson (Millwall), Stuart Dallas (Leeds), Paddy McNair (Sunderland), Matthew Lund (Rochdale).
CF - Kyle Lafferty (Norwich), Josh Magennis (Charlton Athletic), Conor Washington (Queens Park Rangers), Liam Boyce (Ross County).
More to follow