By Paul Hyland

JAMES McCARTHY is now a significant worry for Scotland next month and Seamus Coleman's fitness is by no means guaranteed.

Martin O'Neill has admitted that he simply does not know when the Everton due will be back playing football.

And the word around Goodison is becoming increasingly gloomy, about McCarthy in particular.

"We've got one or two players who can do a wee bit for us and it's important for them to be fit and you never know, James McCarthy and Seamus might be fit in a month's time, I don't know," he said to raised eyebrows.

Asked whether there is a significant doubt over their availability for the game against Scotland, he could offer no further information.

"I really don't know. I would be hoping that they sooner or later will be back playing at club level," he said, suggesting that some urgent consultation with Goodison Park is needed.