Martin O’Neill will be without Robbie Brady and Ciarán Clark for his first games in charge as Ireland manager.
Hull City winger Brady has withdrawn from the squad for the games against Latvia and Poland as he is still feeling his way back following hernia surgery, and missed his side’s 4-1 defeat at Southampton on Saturday. Hull boss Steve Bruce now wants Brady to focus on getting fit for their next game against Crystal Palace on November 23.
Aston Villa’s Clark – who was watched by Roy Keane in the latter’s first outing as Ireland assistant manager on Saturday – has also withdrawn with a foot tendon problem.
While an update is awaited on Anthony Pilkington, who was forced out of Norwich’s 3-1 win over West Ham with a first half injury, the FAI said yesterday that there were no plans to call up any other players to the squad.
Meanwhile, Mick McCarthy was full of praise for Irish international Stephen Hunt, who joined the club in a two-month deal on Friday, after he made his debut for the club off the bench in their dramatic 3-2 win at Blackpool the following day.
“Hunty was great for us,” said McCarthy. “He’s only getting paid when he plays and to come over from Ireland on Friday, train and then go out and do a job for us at left-back shows the sort of terrific character he is.”
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