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O'Neill hopes for good news on Wilson fitness


Marc WIlson

Marc WIlson

Marc WIlson

MARC WILSON will be fit for the start of the Premier League season despite an injury scare while on duty for Stoke City in pre-season.

The defender limped off the field just 27 minutes into a friendly against Schalke during a tour of Germany and is likely to miss a friendly with Blackburn Rovers tomorrow. But boss Mark Hughes expects the former Portsmouth man to be fit for a midweek clash with Real Betis next week and to be at full fitness in time for the kick off of the Premier League season.

Some good news on Wilson would be welcomed by Ireland boss Martin O'Neill, who already has a concern over one of his full backs ahead of the first Euro 2016 qualifier next month, Seamus Coleman currently sidelined ay Everton by a hamstring complaint.

Wilson has started in five of the seven games played by Ireland under O'Neill and he is a key element in O'Neill's plans for the forthcoming qualifiers.

O'Neill will, however, be pleased to see Andy Reid making progress in pre-season with Nottingham Forest. Reid missed the last two months of the club season, and also Ireland's summer friendly games, as he was forced to undergo surgery, but he has played in pre-season for Forest and could come into contention for next months' qualifier in Georgia. So far, the only opportunity Reid had to play under O'Neill was as a second-half sub in the win over Latvia in November.

West Ham United agreed to extend Sean Maguire's loan spell with Sligo Rovers. Maguire has yet to play for the first team at Upton Park since his move from Waterford United but the Hammers will allow him see out the 2014 season with Sligo. "ean is coming into form at the right time for me and we are pleased to keep him here for a long period than originally agreed," says Sligo boss John Coleman after West Ham agreed to extend his loan.

Southend United manager Phil Brown will decide over the weekend whether to offer terms to Irish trialists Gary Deegan and Patrick Cregg.