Sunday 17 December 2017

O'Neill to run rule over Duffy at Yeovil

Shane Duffy (R) of Yeovil holds off pressure from Darius Henderson of Nottingham Forest
Shane Duffy (R) of Yeovil holds off pressure from Darius Henderson of Nottingham Forest
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

MARTIN O'NEILL will travel to Somerset today to check in on the progress of Shane Duffy, who will line out for Yeovil against Sheffield Wednesday.

The Ireland manager explored his centre-half options in Wednesday's friendly defeat to Serbia and will look at another possibility when he takes in the Huish Park encounter.

Everton man Duffy is on loan with the relegation strugglers until the end of the season after being given permission to drop down a level in September by Roberto Martinez.

The 22-year-old, who was a member of David Moyes' first-team squad at Goodison Park last season, was held in high regard by Giovanni Trapattoni.

The Italian called the Derryman into the squad for a training camp in the summer of 2010, but that turned into a nightmare when he lacerated his liver in a match against the Irish amateur side and required lifesaving surgery.

Happily, Duffy made a full recovery and is currently captain of Noel King's U-21 side.

O'Neill tried Derby's Richard Keogh next to Stoke's Marc Wilson in the Serbian reverse after he decided to rest John O'Shea and Richard Dunne, and may use a prolonged summer gathering to further explore the range of alternatives.

Ireland will play Turkey on May 25 and Italy in London on May 31 with the possibility of a US tour incorporating friendlies with Costa Rica and Portugal still on the table.

Robbie Brady will miss Ireland's end-of-season gathering after Hull manager Steve Bruce confirmed that the Dubliner will be on the sidelines until July after undergoing major groin surgery.

It's the second time that the talented winger has gone under the knife this season – he had a hernia problem treated in September and has been dogged by injury problems since.

His last appearance came as a sub in the Premier League clash with Southampton on February 11.

Irish Independent

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