| 15.2°C Dublin

O'Neill and Keane to check out Irish 'keepers


Keiren Westwood. Photo: Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Keiren Westwood. Photo: Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Keiren Westwood. Photo: Tony Marshall/Getty Images

MARTIN O'NEILL will assess the status of his goalkeepers this weekend as his assistant Roy Keane plans a scouting mission to check on Shay Given.

There was some good news for the Ireland boss as Sunderland reported Keiren Westwood, who had been ruled out for the season, was making good progress after surgery on a shoulder injury and could play in this campaign.

David Forde has been established as Ireland's first-choice keeper for over a year now, but his club's struggles at the bottom of the Championship table will be a concern for the Ireland management, as Forde has conceded three or more goals in three of the Lions' last five games.

Forde, 34, is out of contract at the end of this season and is likely to leave Millwall, even if they win their relegation battle as the Galway native has been linked with moves to clubs like Celtic, Crystal Palace and Sunderland.

The Black Cats had made an inquiry about Forde as they are unsure of their long-term plans for Westwood, but at least the 29-year-old now has a chance of playing again this season.

Westwood has been out of action since last November due to a shoulder injury and Westwood has no chance of being fit for the March 5 friendly against Serbia.



But Black Cats boss Gus Poyet says that Westwood is making good progress in his rehab and could feature again this term, a big boost for the player.

"He has had the operation. Everything went all right, he is fine, so he starts his recovery next week," Poyet said of Westwood.

Given is also on the FAI's radar since his return to competitive football following that loan move to Middlesbrough and Keane will attend Boro's game against Charlton tomorrow.

The fact that Keane is travelling to the Riverside tomorrow is significant as Given is the only player currently eligible for Ireland who will be involved.

However, he could also make an inquiry about Boro's Luke Williams, the midfielder with four first-team appearances this season who is eligible but has yet to declare.