Ireland’s James McCarthy Battles to be Fit for World Cup Qualifier

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by Becki Cookson

Everton midfielder James McCarthy is to remain with the Republic of Ireland squad as he battles to prove his fitness ahead of Friday’s World Cup Qualifier against Wales.

Ireland's James McCarthy Battles to be Fit for World QualifierMcCarthy, who has been out of action since March 5 with a hamstring injury, warmed up with the rest of the squad at Abbotstown on Wednesday morning for the first time this week but was later due to work with the physios.

Assistant manager Roy Keane admitted on Tuesday that the midfielder was unlikely to make the game if he did not train the following day, but it seems Ireland have not yet given up on the player.

Manager Martin O’Neill will be hopeful of McCarthy playing at least some part in the game at the Aviva Stadium as he already has a lengthy list of absentees. However, he will hold fire on a decision over the 26-year-old’s fitness until after tomorrow’s pre-match training session.

O’Neill will also be hoping to avoid another row with his Toffees counterpart Ronald Koeman after they clashed last November over the Republic’s use of McCarthy on his return from injury.

Seamus Coleman, Shane Long and Jonathan Hayes, who all sat out on Tuesday alongside James McCarthy, were expected to take part in today’s full session.

James McClean was also back in the camp after being given leave to travel north to pass on his condolences in person to the family of close friend and Derry City captain Ryan McBride ahead of his funeral on Thursday morning.




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