Friday 20 October 2017

Bad news on the injury front for Martin O'Neill's Ireland

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill during the FIFA World Cup Qualifier Group D match between Georgia and Republic of Ireland at Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi, Georgia. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill during the FIFA World Cup Qualifier Group D match between Georgia and Republic of Ireland at Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi, Georgia. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Jeff Hendrick has been ruled out of tomorrow's crunch World Cup qualifier against Serbia after he underwent a scan on Monday morning .

The Burnley midfielder, who missed Saturday's 1-1 draw in Georgia with a thigh problem, worked with the Football Association of Ireland's medical team on Sunday as his injury was assessed, and was then sent for further checks.

O'Neill had hoped to have Hendrick, one of his star men at last summer's Euro 2016 finals, available for a game which could go a long way towards determining Ireland's qualification hopes, but he has been ruled out.

There was further bad news with the involvement of Aiden McGeady and Wes Hoolahan in serious doubt.

O'Neill is anxiously awaiting the result of a scan on McGeady's hamstring and Hoolahan is suffering from a tight groin.

The rest of the squad trained at Abbotstown on Monday knowing defeat is not an option and perhaps victory will allow them to continue to dream of automatic qualification with the Serbians now two points clear at the top of Group D.

"We are unbeaten in the group. We are going to try and win the game," O'Neill said.

"If we win the game we set ourselves up for a grandstand finish.

"It's a very very important match. We are going into it aiming to win the game."

They did so with skipper Seamus Coleman, who is closing in on a return from the double leg fracture he suffered in March, looking on from the sidelines.

"It's great to see Seamus," said O'Neill. "He's a brilliant captain. He is progressing hugely which is fantastic to hear."

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