Ingham's broken finger hands chance to Mannus

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The Independent Football

Northern Ireland have called up the goalkeeper Alan Mannus for tomorrow's game against Trinidad and Tobago at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago, because of an injury to Michael Ingham.

Ingham, the Sunderland goalkeeper, fractured his finger in a training session and has been forced out of the remainder of the tour, prompting the promotion to the squad of Mannus as back-up to the first-choice keeper, Maik Taylor.

Mannus, who plays for the Northern Ireland champions Linfield, is likely to figure tomorrow with manager Lawrie Sanchez seeking to play all his players on tour to help him make up his mind on the likely composition of the squad which will aim to qualify for the 2006 World Cup.

The Irish Football Association president, Jim Boyce, said: "We had to make this change after Ingham's finger was fractured - obviously we could not take a chance with one goalkeeper.

"He has never played for the national senior team but we believe he is very competent. He was delighted to get the call and if he plays on Sunday, I am hoping he does well."

* In Buenos Aires, the Argentina captain Roberto Ayala returns to the team in tomorrow's World Cup qualifier against Paraguay as Argentina attempt to make up for their 3-1 defeat by Brazil on Wednesday. The Valencia defender, who was suspended against the world champions, is expected to replace Gabriel Heinze.