Monday 9 December 2019

Ireland take part in behind-closed-doors session as Martin O'Neill sweats over Jon Walters

Republic of Ireland's Jonathan Walters is a serious doubt for the remainder of Ireland's Euro 2016 campaign
Republic of Ireland's Jonathan Walters is a serious doubt for the remainder of Ireland's Euro 2016 campaign
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

THE Ireland team underwent a light recovery session in Versailles this morning as they reflected on the 1-1 draw with Sweden.

Media were barred from entering the team's training base, the Stade Montbauron, with the scheduled press conference cancelled as Martin O'Neill opted to keep a low profile.

Players who were involved in yesterday's game were spotted kicking a ball around with Glenn Whelan and Shane Long amongst that contingent.

On the day after a game, O'Neill tends to do very little work with tired players and focuses on a run-out for squad members that didn't contribute to proceedings.

The main worry for the 64-year-old is the wellbeing of Jonathan Walters with the Ireland manager waiting to see how his Achilles problem settles down.

Walters played for just over an hour of the 1-1 draw and admitted that he was inhibited by an injury which prevented him from offering a full service.

"I didn’t feel like I could sprint or jump but I was trying to get through it and hope it would settle down, but it didn’t really," he said. "It was still sore but I was trying to do my part in the second-half."

When it was put to Walters that next Wednesday's concluding group game with Italy could be a better bet than this Saturday's date with Belgium, he replied: "Oh yeah, it's nowhere near as sore as what it was even a week ago. We'll see how it settles down in the next few days."

The next bulletin from O'Neill is likely to provide an update on the key player in qualification. He appeared concerned about the 32-year-old in his post-match press conference.

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