Greg HAs Cunning plan
HAD things worked out differently, Greg Cunningham could have been in Budapest tonight rather than Sligo's Showgrounds today.
But the Ireland U-21 captain has come to terms with the fact that he has to wait for his senior chance having been capped by Giovanni Trapattoni as part of his search for a replacement for Kevin Kilbane.
Stephen Ward got the nod and the Manchester City left-back has been sent back to Noel King's squad.
"It is the way it goes and, unfortunately, the injury (a broken leg) happened and I am back with the U-21s. I'll go away for the summer and enjoy my holiday and then next season I'll try and break into the Ireland team again."
Cunningham leads a strong Irish team in the north west (3pm) against a highly-rated, Italian side who have won all five of their Group 7 games.
They have profited from Cesare Prandelli's decision to release hot prospect Mattia Destro from his Euro 2012 squad, and with second-placed Turkey facing bottom side Liechtenstein, they will want to keep their distance at the top, while Ireland will be hoping to keep pace with the Turks who they host in August.