Walters in pole position to partner Keane against Faroes

Having missed the squad session on the pitch, David Forde emerged from the gym at Gannon Park yesterday sporting a smile as sunny as the weather.

Walters in pole position to partner Keane against Faroes

“I’ll be back training tomorrow,” said Ireland’s goalkeeper, who has been nursing a knee injury since the game against England at Wembley.

Richard Dunne and Marc Wilson, who made their international comebacks against Georgia, were also rested but assistant manager Marco Tardelli said they too will resume full training today with a view to playing against the Faroe Islands in Friday’s World Cup qualifier at the Aviva Stadium.

With Shane Long suspended, Tardelli gave a strong hint yesterday that Jon Walters would be the one picked to partner Robbie Keane up front against the Faroes.

“We have many options to play with Robbie Keane. There is Sammon, Walters back there as a striker or Cox. We have two or three days to decide but I think it is possible that it will be Jonathan. But don’t write in the newspaper as I don’t know,” he added with a grin.

“We know that Walters plays as a striker at Stoke sometimes and sometimes on the right. He is very strong physically and strong when heading the ball and has good quality. At the moment he is good in training and he scored goals today.”

Meanwhile, Giovanni Trapattoni’s plea for all his players to travel to New York for the game against Spain on June 11 suffered another setback with the news that Aiden McGeady looks certain to miss the match in order to prepare for his wedding on June 14. Wedding bells are certainly in the air for the Irish squad this month – Anthony Pilkington might have had to pull out of the original squad for injury reasons but he too is getting hitched and Shane Long has withdrawn for the same reason while Andy Keogh will still travel despite his own imminent nuptials.

“I don’t think I am going, because I’m due back on Moscow on the 19th or sooner,” said Spartak’s McGeady. “It’s pretty tight. I spoke to the manager and he seemed ok about it, but I don’t know if he totally gave the ok.”

Tardelli made light of the matter, saying with a laugh: “I know he has a big problem. Also for Long there is a big problem. We decide after the match against the Faroes.”

James McCarthy, who like Long is suspended for the Faroes game, is currently on leave from the camp and, although Trap indicated on Monday the player was a doubt for the New York trip because of a groin problem, the manager also made it clear he wants the Wigan man to travel.

And yesterday Tardelli said he believed the player definitely would definitely rejoin the squad: “James McCarthy gave me his word and shook my hand and said that he would come back (to go to New York).”

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