Brighton’s Shane Duffy and Sheffield United’s David McGoldrick could yet be fit for Ireland’s game against Switzerland on Tuesday week.
Although both were omitted from Mick McCarthy’s squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers, the Ireland manager said this week that he retained some optimism about the possibility of being able to recall the players for the match in Geneva, if not in time for Saturday week’s game against Georgia in Tbilisi.
And now, in encouraging news for the Ireland boss, the managers of Sheffield United and Brighton have hinted at better-than-expected progress for both players.
Blades boss Chris Wilder said of striker McGoldrick, who is recovering from a groin problem: “We’re in co-operation with the Republic of Ireland. It’s important that the relationship is strong, and it is. We have to do the best for David. He might go over with the squad and we’ll find out in the next couple of days.
“He’s getting closer and we’ll see what is what. But if we can get him fit for Mick McCarthy, we’ll try to. He wants to play for Ireland and he’s an important part of their squad. If not, we’ll let him get ready for Arsenal after the international break.
“We’re confident that he’ll be back for that, and maybe the midweek game (against Switzerland) for the Republic. We’ll make the decision. In the past, he has played with injury issues and it’s important that we have a sensible approach.”
As for Duffy, who is nursing a calf injury sustained in Brighton’s League Cup defeat to Aston Villa last week, Seagulls’ manager Graham Potter said yesterday that the defender is “making good progress”, adding “the diagnosis is better than we thought”.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri has agreed to resume international duty with Switzerland, although a calf injury means he will still miss the game against Ireland in Geneva.
Shaqiri’s brief exile saw him unavailable for the 1-1 draw between the two countries in Dublin but harmony now appears to have been restored in the Swiss camp, with the playmaker saying: “I needed the break. The unrest it caused was not intentional.”
And, confirming the rapprochement, manager Vladimir Petkovic commented: “Xherdan is part of our team and we’re happy we can count on him.”