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Hunt faces surgery to cure groin problem

STEPHEN HUNT faces a spell on the sidelines after Wolves revealed the Ireland international needs surgery on a long-running groin problem, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.

HUNT has played just twice for Wolves this season and has not made the Ireland squad since the Euro 2012 finals and club manager Stale Solbakken says that Hunt needs an operation.

"He doesn't feel one hundred per cent and I think he has to do something with it now. I think he has tried to play through the pain barrier for quite a few weeks without really doing himself justice," says Solbakken.

"He has struggled. He wanted to impress me and then he has, in a way, played through the pain barrier."

Devine playing down exit talk

Under-pressure Derry City boss Declan Devine has tried to play down speculation over his future.

Derry, who take on Dundalk in a league game tonight, can finish the season with a trophy as they have reached the FAI Cup semi-final against Shelbourne on Sunday.

But Devine is under fire after a dismal run of five straight league defeats.

"The speculation does not bother me - I'll keep my head down and I will keep concentrating on what is right," said Devine.

Derry received a boost before the Dundalk clash with news that captain Barry Molloy has signed a new two-year deal.

Zola praises Irish trio at Watford

Gianfranco Zola has heaped praise on the Irish youngsters who are making waves with Championship side Watford.

Teenagers Sean Murray, Tommy Hoban and Connor Smith are starting to establish themselves at Vicarage Road, with Dubliner Smith signing a new four-year deal this week.

"We have a young team with a lot of potential," said Hornets boss Zola.

"Players such as Sean Murray, Connor Smith or Tommy Hoban potentially could be excellent."