Wednesday 7 December 2016

O'Neill sticks with tried and trusted squad

Published 25/08/2016 | 02:30

Callum O'Dowda Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Callum O'Dowda Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

The confirmation that Robbie Keane would hang up his Irish boots after next Wednesday's Oman date overshadowed Martin O'Neill's announcement of his squad for a double header where the important business is the September 5 qualifier with Serbia.

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O'Neill named a 28-man panel - a smaller number than expected - and he will explain the reasons next week. It was initially anticipated that he would include some fresh faces but his squad selection was notable for the absence of talking points.

Callum O'Dowda is included after building on the positive impression he made in the pre-Euros training camp by making the move from Oxford to Championship side Bristol City.

Marc Wilson is also recalled after completing his switch from Stoke to Bournemouth. He made his debut for his new employer last night and scoring a stunning goal in their League Cup date with Morecambe.

David Forde, Paul McShane, Harry Arter, Alex Pearce and Eunan O'Kane are welcomed back after missing out on events in France.

Injury doubts Seamus Coleman, John O'Shea and Jeff Hendrick were named. The latter is expected to be fine but concerns linger over the defensive duo.

Irish Independent

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