Duff disappointment for Trap

Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has been dealt a series of fresh injury blows ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifying matches against Russia and Slovakia.

Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has been dealt a series of fresh injury blows ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifying matches against Russia and Slovakia.

Midfielders Damien Duff and Keith Andrews are heading home with calf and groin injuries respectively, with the Italian admitting Duff is "90%" certain to miss both games.

Trapattoni, who is also without Preston's Keith Treacy due to a persistent calf problem, has not called up any midfield reinforcements.

However, he has drafted in Stoke defender Marc Wilson, with Stephen Kelly and Darren O'Dea having withdrawn from the squad last week.

The squad met up in Malahide today ahead of Friday night's clash with the Russians at the Aviva Stadium, and Trapattoni said: "The news is not very good today.

"Damien Duff has had a scan and there is a little injury. It is 90% he is not available.

"A muscle injury is very dangerous. It is not easy to recover in eight days.

"He has pulled the muscle and there is a little blood showing on the scan, so we spoke to the doctor and he is going home."

Asked if he would call up any replacements, Trapattoni replied: "No, we have enough wingers here.

"With Stephen Kelly missing, we are a defender short, so we have called up Marc Wilson."

Treacy, who was on standby, did not travel, with Preston insisting he needs rest to get over a long-standing problem.

Trapattoni would have included the player had it not been for Preston's insistence that he needed to stay in Lancashire.

In Italy, Treacy would have been expected to report and be assessed by medical staff, but Trapattoni has accepted Preston manager Darren Ferguson's decision to keep him close to home.

Trapattoni said: "They said he is injured. He can play, but he needs rest. They wanted to rest him so he could recover.

"Always after one hour, he is in pain in his groin and they think it is better he stays at home.

"After the last game, he played 60 minutes, he felt it and we hope with this rest, he gets better.

"In Italy, we have other habits. If a player is injured, our doctor speaks with their doctor, he comes in and then he goes home. In Italy, players always come.

"It's not a problem of believe or not believe. I am not a doctor."

Treacy has been battling his injury for some time and has been unable to play for his club on a sustained basis.

Trapattoni said: "He can play 20 minutes and he has pain in his groin. He plays 20 minutes, 60 minutes, but then he is not fit so it is not possible to come with us.

"It is not only Andrews, there are other players. It would be better if they could rest, but clubs, doctors, managers, they say 'try' and they play 20, 30 minutes and they have pain again."

Ireland launched their campaign with back-to-back victories over Armenia and Andorra last month.

Trapattoni said: "We are happy after the first two games, but I have told the players we must start every game as if it were the first.

"We would like to win because it would be a very, very important result because we know the points the Russians are behind.

"From these two games, it would be excellent to achieve four points - but it is also important to stay at the top of the table."

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox