'James is good to go' - Martin O'Neill finally delivers some good injury news ahead of Georgia showdown
MARTIN O'Neill says that Everton midfielder James McCarthy is "good to go" for tomorrow's World Cup qualifier at home to Georgia and is in line for a start.
McCarthy has missed the last six games for his club, having undergone surgery on a groin injury, and his club manager, Ronald Koeman, had hinted at his unhappiness about Ireland calling up McCarthy for the double header against Georgia and Moldova.
But McCarthy has trained without a reaction this week and is in the manager's plans.
"James has trained the last couple of days and is feeling not bad at all, he is fit and, if selected he is ready to go. He is over the injury, it's more fitness that'd be the concern but he wants to go, if selected," O'Neill said at his pre-match press conference today, the Ireland boss batting away fears about McCarthy's ability to play.
"I would listen to the player, he [McCarthy] has come over here and trained. He has't played for a couple of weeks, is his fitness is a concern, or lasting the game? Of course, but I have been involved in club management for some time, less so as an international manager but I have never played anyone who has arrived and has not been fully fit, as an international manager I have been pretty lenient about that.
"Injuries are par for the course, we have had major players, like Seamus [Coleman] and Jon Walters missing at different stages of the campaign, at important stages of the competition we have had important players missing but as I have said to the players, no one remembers in three weeks' time who played or not so you have to try and get through the games," added the Ireland boss.
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