25 March 2013 01:57

Michael O’Neill has called for Northern Ireland’s postponed World Cup qualifying match against Russia to be rescheduled for May.

The match was originally meant to be played last Friday but was twice cancelled due to heavy snowfall.

And, with FIFA set to decide on a new date for the fixture, head coach O’Neill has dismissed the idea of playing during the off-season break.

He told reporters: “When we (Northern Ireland) come to talk about the new date, I will have to take into account that a game in June is well after the players’ club season is over.

“If we play on one of the international dates in June that could be four to six weeks since the players were in regular football – well into their summer break. That would not be ideal.

“August is also an option but it would mean Russia cancelling their planned friendly with Argentina and I am not sure they would be willing to do that.

“If possible, I am going for a date in May as close to the end of the season as possible.”

Russia lead World Cup qualifying Group F by four points from Israel, with Northern Ireland in fourth spot on three points.