The in-form Boro man was one of just two Northern Ireland players to play 90 minutes in every game.

Boro now face a run of nine games in 28 days and McNair will return to Rockliffe ahead of the weekend clash with Norwich City.

“Paddy McNair has played three of the toughest games you could wish for and he has played almost every minute,” said the Boro boss. 

“I don’t understand how him and Stuart Dallas can do that. There’s something wrong when that happens. You’ve also got to think of the players. 

“We helped him up to the first game, but after that...I can’t accept that when there’s nothing else to play for.”

Northern Ireland’s opening game was a Euro 2020 play-off defeat at the hands of Slovakia, when McNair was substituted in the 104th minute, before a 2-1 loss in Austria at the weekend condemned them to Nations League relegation ahead of last night’s 1-1 draw with Romania.