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Tardelli fears for Dunne

WHAT was only a mild, gnawing anxiety about Richard Dunne is rapidly blossoming into a full-blown panic attack.

Go back through the history books and there's always a big scare before major championships, an affliction shared by most qualifying countries.

Weeks before those fateful events in Saipan, Roy Keane's hip and knee were the big concern, later to pale into insignificance and finally irrelevancy when his feud with Mick McCarthy and the FAI boiled over.


Last weekend, Giuseppe Rossi was ruled out of Euro 2012 knocking a big hole in Italian resources for the finals and it would be foolish to bet that at least one or two other big names from Ireland's group opponents won't suffer extreme disappointment over the coming weeks because of an unfortunate knock or muscle tear.

But Richard Dunne. Rossi is important to the Italians but not on the same level as Dunne is to Giovanni Trapattoni and Ireland.

Yesterday, Marco Tardelli seemed to tell us that he didn't rate Dunne's chances of playing for Aston Villa before the finals very highly.

"Richard Dunne is very important for us and we have a problem with Hunt and Fahey and Stephen Kelly is out. But the important one is Richard because it is possible for the others to recover fast," said Tardelli.

"If Richard is injured it is impossible for him to be in the squad. We want him with us and we need to understand whether he is fit or not.

"He wants to play before the end of the season because he needs to play. I don't know whether he can play for Aston Villa before the end of the season. I hope he can but the doctors will decide," he added. If Dunne doesn't shake a leg for Villa before the curtain comes down on the Premier League season, Tardelli would hope to see him in Dublin when the Championship group arrive on May 17.

"Maybe it is possible for him to come with the Championship players in May before the Premier League players," claimed Tardelli. "We have many injured players and I think it is possible to change some things and it is possible to change the date for the May 7 squad announcement."

"We want to wait for our players because they deserve to stay with us but we also have the new solution -- young players like McClean and McCarthy who are playing very well. But I hope that the injured players are fit for Poland."


Tardelli has been having a very close look at both James McCarthy and James McClean in the last month, which is welcome news.

"I've been to see them a lot. I went to three or four games to see McCarthy and McClean. McCarthy we know. He is a good player and now, he grows, he plays with a bigger personality.

"Sometimes, he had a problem with the defensive side of his game but now he is physically very good, very fit. He will be a player for us in the future.

"James McClean is a new player for us. He plays well all season but I saw him in the last two. It's true, it's possible for the young player to play two matches well and one not so good.

"There is a special consideration for him because he is young and three or four others that we have," he added.