The good news from the Irish camp is that Jon Walters and Stephen Ward, both of whom had been nursing knocks to the knee, took a full part in training yesterday.
Walters had created the week’s biggest injury scare when he sat out the public training session at the Aviva Stadium. But Roy Keane said yesterday that he never doubted the Stoke striker would be fit for tomorrow’s match against Austria.
“Jon played the (Uruguay) game and then he was rested for the last three or four days,” he said. “Jon knows his own body. We’ve one more game now. Can he get through the game? I’m pretty sure he can. He’s trained today. To be honest, it never crossed my mind that Jon would be doubtful. Never.
“Stephen Ward? Again these experienced players know their own bodies, know how to manage it. If these lads want to rest for one or two days, it’s not an issue. He’s trained today and hopefully he should be alright for the match.”
Keane’s take on the debate about whether Darren Randolph or Keiren Westwood will be in goal for tomorrow’s kick off is that “it’s a nice problem” for Martin O’Neill to have.
“We have good options with the goalkeepers,” he said. “The manager will speak to (goalkeeping coach) Seamus McDonagh who is brilliant with them, and whoever starts in goal, I’m pretty sure they won’t let us down.”
Keane holds much the same view about John O’Shea, should the veteran get the nod to play in the heart of the defence.
“We’ve no issues with players starting who’ve not been involved in the games against Mexico or Uruguay,” he clarified. “He’s played a lot of minutes in his career and there are no worries about his fitness. He is match-ready.”
The assistant manager was also happy to report on the arrival in camp on Thursday, in a purely supportive role, of Seamus Coleman.
“He seems fine, he was in good spirits last night,” said Keane. “The recovery is going well. Nobody died. He broke his leg but that will heal. I think he’s in good hands with Everton and I think the surgeon is really happy with the way it’s going. So it’s good news.
“It’s nice to have him about the place. He brings some positive energy to the group. It’s just a pity that’s he’s not available to play, But whoever starts at right back won’t let us down.”
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