Sheffield United striker Jamie Ward has been recalled to the Northern Ireland squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifiers against Poland and Slovakia.

Ward, who scored in the 3-1 victory at Reading on Saturday, sat out the draw with Israel in a friendly. Manager Nigel Worthington has named five strikers in all with record scorer David Healy, Kyle Lafferty, Martin Paterson and Andrew Little all called up.

Fulham defender Chris Baird is suspended for the match against Poland in Chorzow on 5 September but available to face Slovakia at home four days later. Maik Taylor looks likely to continue in goal even though he has lost his place to Joe Hart at Birmingham as both Jonny Tuffey and Alan Mannus are inexperienced.

Northern Ireland still harbour hopes of qualifying but Worthington knows they need to improve a dreadful away record if their dream is to become a reality.