Northern Ireland goalkeeper likely to miss Euro 2020 playoff finals due to injury

Northern Ireland International goalkeeper Trevor Carson has been ruled out for a minimum of three months following a knee injury in Motherwell’s weekend win over Ross County. Carson featured for Ian Baraclough’s side against Norway last time out in the UEFA Nations League, putting in a fine performance at the Ullevaal Stadium that brought them to finals of the Euro 2020 playoffs.

According to reports, scans have shown the Northern Irish international suffered a meniscus tear. The match in thesemis of the Euro 2020 playoffs earlier this month was his first international appearance in almost two years after the former Sunderland, Hartlepool United and Cheltenham Town keeper battled back from deep vein thrombosis, which had threatened to end his footballing career.

The injury could see a return to the senior Northern Ireland panel for Under 21 stopper Conor Hazard, who stepped up during Carson’s previous absence, next to the first-choice stopper Bailey Peacock-Farrell, who is now available after he returned to his Premier League club Burnley. The other goalkeeper could be Michael McGovern, who played in the 1-0 loss at home to Austria in the Nations League.

Carson played the vital role for the Steelmen in the Europa League qualification round victory over Coleraine in September, saving three penalties in a shootout to send Stephen Robinson’s side into the next stage. He has now been told he is unlikely to be back fit until January at the earliest. The 32-year-old has made 76 appearances for Motherwell since joining the club in the summer of 2017.

“It is a blow to lose Trevor,” Robinson told the club website. “He has done so well since he’s got back into the side and also getting back into the national team. We will support him through his recovery and hope that he makes a quick and full return to fitness. We brought in Aaron Chapman as cover previously, and we are evaluating whether we now need to bring in another goalkeeper to cover.”

Penalty shootouts decided both games in Path B of the Euro 2020 playoffs semi-finals, with Northern Ireland winning one and Republic of Ireland losing. Despite keeping their Euro berth alive, Ian Baraclough’s have now lost seven of their eight UEFA Nations League matches following the 1-0 lost to Norway earlier this month. Northern Ireland will host Slovakia on November 12.

Four nations will qualify for Euro 2020 as the play-offs finalconclude on Nov. 12. The winner will join a Euro 2020 group with the Netherlands, Ukraine and Austria. Games will be played in Amsterdam and Bucharest. Euro 2020, originally scheduled for June 12-July 12, was pushed back 12 months because of the Covid-19 pandemic and is now due to be held from June 11-July 11 next year.