NEIL Warnock has vented his frustration at the Northern Ireland national team after revealing Paddy McNair's injury was picked up on international duty.

McNair played for Ian Baraclough's side against Estonia and Lithuania and then had to pull out of the starting line-up against Coventry City after aggravating the problem in the warm-up. 

The 26-year-old is integral to both Boro and Northern Ireland but the Boro boss has taken a swipe at the national side for using McNair in a warm-up match inbetween World Cup qualifiers. 

"I honestly haven't got a clue how these national teams work." fuming Warnock told BBC Tees in his press conference on Tuesday morning.

"Paddy was telling me he felt it on Sunday in a friendly game they had, then he tells me it the worst plastic pitch he's ever seen that he played on for 95 minutes, it's no wonder his right side was stiff.

"Who would want to play a friendly between two tough international games on a plastic pitch, it defies logic, there's no sense in it. Now he's stiff all down the one side, It's a slight strain, not much, but it's all from this plastic pitch. It's ridiculous. We have to cover the cost of that."

Asked whether McNair will be available at the City Ground, Warnock said: "I doubt it very much. He's going to do a little bit today.

"He has a slight strain inside of the bottom of his hamstring. The physio said It's all down this side, his back is out. Playing 95 minutes on a plastic pitch for lads that aren't used to it. I'd like to see most people try that."

"You hope you get lucky and your main players are injury free.

"Bola is in the same situation. I'm hoping they're both going to be on the grass today.

"We haven't got a natural replacement for Boles. We just have to make sure everyone who plays competes and gives us the best opportunity."

Boro are also assessing the fitness of Martin Payero who picked up an ankle problem in training last week as the manager didn't rule out the Argentine featuring at the City Ground. 

He added: "I would've probably played Martin on Saturday and, if he was available, I probably would have played him toomrrow. I won't know until later this morning about that.

“Martin had just had his best training session, and then goes and does his ankle in the last few minutes.

“It wasn’t anything too damaging, his ankle was just bruised, but by going over his ankle he tweaked something higher up.

“I don’t think it’s anything too long, but if it’s too soon for tomorrow I’m not sure.”