Rotherham United's plea to FA over teenage sensation Brooke Norton-Cuffy

ROTHERHAM United are hoping to keep hold of Brooke Norton-Cuffy during the international break rather than see their young loan star playing a game of risk with his hamstring on England duty.
Brooke Norton-Cuffy in action against Middlesbrough. Picture by Jim BrailsfordBrooke Norton-Cuffy in action against Middlesbrough. Picture by Jim Brailsford
Brooke Norton-Cuffy in action against Middlesbrough. Picture by Jim Brailsford

The Arsenal teenager, who has been a revelation at right wing-back for the Millers since his summer arrival last month, is due to join up with the national under-20s squad for three matches in Spain.

However, Rotherham plan to ask the FA to excuse the 18-year-old from travelling so he can protect his fitness with a two-week programme of rest and treatment in South Yorkshire.

"There is a problem with Brooke," said manager Paul Warne after yesterday evening's 0-0 draw at Middlesbrough had seen his side climb to eighth in the Championship table.

"He came off in midweek (a 3-0 win over Blackpool) when his hamstring tightened up and the same thing happened tonight.

"We will speak to the FA as he might have a little bit of damage."

The U-20s have fixtures with Chile, Morocco and Australia.

Norton-Cuffy's Millers teammate, Shane Ferguson, has recovered from an groin niggle that has kept him out of two second-tier games and will join up with the Northern Ireland squad for UEFA Nations League matches against Kosovo and Greece.

The 31-year-old left wing-back could have played against Boro but Warne chose to leave him out of the squad along with midfielder Hakeem Odoffin.

"Shane was available, as was Haks. They are fit," Warne said. "I have to pick a squad and, unfortunately, senior pros miss out sometimes. That's football.

"I thought Tolaji Bola did really well last week (against Blackpool) and didn't deserve to lose his shirt. He, Cohen (Bramall) and Shane all play the same position. We don't need all three of them in the squad so Shane missed out."

Defender Lee Peltier had been desperate to feature against old club Boro but in the end had to heed medical advice over his strained hamstring.

"At the start of the week I thought Pelts was going to be fit," Warne said. "He was walking around saying he would be okay. Then I got told on Thursday that there was no chance."

Rotherham attacker Chieodozie Ogbene is set to face Scotland and Armenia for the Republic of Ireland in Nations League clashes.