Andrews injury opens door for Hendrick's first senior call-up
Published 21/01/2013 | 05:00
KEITH ANDREWS has been ruled out of Ireland's friendly with Poland next month, opening the door for Derby County's Jeff Hendrick to receive his first call-up to the senior squad.
Midfielder Andrews picked up a thigh strain during Bolton Wanderers' scoreless clash with Crystal Palace on Saturday and was replaced with 14 minutes to go.
Trapattoni watched Ireland U-21 star Hendrick for the second successive week in the Rams' 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest and looks set include the 20-year-old for the first time, along with Norwich City's Anthony Pilkington.
The Italian will name his squad for the February 6 clash today, with Norwich goalkeeper Mark Bunn and Derby defender Richard Keogh also in contention. The 26-year-old centre-half captained the U-21s, but has not been involved in an Ireland set-up since 2007.
Bunn was the only one of the potential Ireland players in the Canaries' squad to start Saturday's 5-0 defeat to Liverpool, with Pilkington and Wes Hoolahan coming off the bench when the game was all but gone.
Trapattoni will be hoping Hendrick and Pilkington make positive impressions ahead of the crucial qualifiers against Sweden and Austria in March. Ireland are third in Group C, four points behind Germany and a point back from the Swedes.
Having held on to his job in the wake of the crushing 6-1 defeat at the hands of Germany last October, the 73-year-old knows that the future of his regime will be determined over the next two months.
Shane Long is expected to be fit enough to be named in the squad after missing West Brom's recent games.
"Shane has got a really severe dead leg," West Brom boss Steve Clarke said. "I have to be honest – he wasn't even close for the Villa game. But there's 10 days to the next one against Everton and I expect him to be available for that."
Villa's Shay Given's mooted return looks like it will be put off for the time being at least after he missed the Hawthorns clash with a hamstring injury.
It was unlikely that he would have been included for the Poland game, but any possibility has been dashed by the strain that looks set to keep him out of tomorrow's League Cup semi-final second leg against Bradford.
Meanwhile, Sligo Rovers have re-signed league-winning captain Danny Ventre for the upcoming season. The versatile 27-year-old Englishman has been at the Showgrounds since 2007, making 194 appearances.
Dundalk have completed the signing of former Bohemians and St Patrick's Athletic player Mark Rossiter.