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McClean a worry for O'Neill as Gibson in hot water


Darron Gibson. Photo: Richard Lee/BPI/REX/Shutterst

Darron Gibson. Photo: Richard Lee/BPI/REX/Shutterst

Darron Gibson. Photo: Richard Lee/BPI/REX/Shutterst

Martin O'Neill is hoping to get some good news from a medical update from West Brom this week after key man James McClean suffered a knee injury.

McClean had to be substituted three minutes into the second half of a pre-season friendly with Bristol Rovers and boss Tony Pulis later confirmed that the Derry man has a knee problem, one of three injury worries for the Baggies in pre-season.

"James' is the most concerning at the moment because it is in the knee area and we'll get that scanned to see what that tells us," says Pulis.

"Pre-season is all about getting the players through without picking up injuries and so this is the most disappointing part of the game for me."

McClean has become a key part of O'Neill's side for the World Cup campaign and with Seamus Coleman already missing for the September qualifiers away to Georgia and at home to Serbia, McClean's absence would be felt.

His fellow Derry native Darron Gibson has talked himself into trouble after footage emerged online of the midfielder describing his Sunderland side as "sh*t" and said some of his team-mates did not care. Gibson was filmed in a late-night conversation with Black Cats fans after a 5-0 friendly loss to Celtic.

"We're f****** sh*t," he said. "I don't want to be sh*t. There are too many people at the club who don't give a f***. Right, I might be off my face in here but I still want to play for Sunderland. The rest of them f****** don't though, the rest of them don't."

In transfer news, Hibernian boss Neil Lennon is still hopeful of bringing free agent Anthony Stokes to the club.

"The club have done everything they can, it's a purely personal decision for Anthony," says Lennon of Stokes, who was released from his contract with Blackburn Rovers two weeks ago.

"He hasn't played a lot of football in the last two or three years and his conditioning would need a bit of work, but I think he is at his peak. The season starts next week and we can't wait forever."

Meanwhile, former Ireland U21 cap Gavin Gunning has signed for League Two side Port Vale after a spell with Grimsby.

"I just want to kick start my career again. I have had a tough couple of years, and I am in the best shape I have ever been in at the moment, so hopefully I can show it on the pitch," says Dubliner Gunning.

In Poland, Cavan native Cillian Sheridan has put his club side, Jagiellonia Bialystok, on top of the league table. Sheridan scored the only goal of the game in the final minute away to Pogon Szczecin last night, making it three wins from three games in the new league season.