Michael O'Neill says Jonny Steele will get his NI chance 'soon'

Michael O'Neill says New York Red Bulls midfielder Jonny Steele will get his chance for Northern Ireland "soon", although it may not be in next month's World Cup qualifier against Russia.

The uncapped Larne man, 27, plays with Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill for the US club and has been having a fine season.

"I'm sure he will get his chance soon," said Northern Ireland boss O'Neill.

"[But] He has a game for New York Red Bulls on the Sunday [before the Russia game] so that wouldn't be ideal."

O'Neill added: "I'll look at it in the cold light of day. Jonny Steele is a player who is knocking on the door.

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill says that Jonny Steele will soon get his chance to play for Northern Ireland

"I have people watching the games in the America and I have the ability to watch the games (on television) as well so he is somebody that I will continue to monitor."

O'Neill is currently finalising his squad for the re-arranged 14 August qualifier against the Russians at Windsor Park.

His selection is somewhat complicated by a couple of his regulars currently being without clubs, including Chris Baird and David Healy.

Meanwhile midfielder Sammy Clingan is set to miss the match after sustaining a grade one medial ligament strain.

The injury is set to rule the Kilmarnock player out for four to six weeks, so he may be fit for the next qualifier against Portugal in Belfast on 6 September.

However, the Northern Ireland manager is confident that his squad will be ready for the Russia game.

"Our lads who play in the SPL and the Championship will have had a couple of games under their belt.

"The Premier League lads won't have kicked off their season yet, but I think their pre-seasons are so diligent that they will be ready to play.

"It's going to be a tough game. Russia are a top-class side, possibly the best in the group, so we have another chance to get a result of a similar stature to what we got in Portugal."