Thursday 22 February 2018

Darron Gibson makes international return while O’Neill hopeful over Seamus Coleman

Darron Gibson
Darron Gibson

John Brennan

Darron Gibson has been recalled to the Irish squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Germany and Poland next month.

The Everton man has returned to training after an injury setback and manager Martin O’Neill believes he may be ready for those two big games.

Shane Duffy of Blackburn Rovers is also back in the extended squad after O’Neill went to see him playing for his club last Sunday and again last night against QPR.

O’Neill has also been impressed by Darron Randolph’s form in goal for West Ham, but more or less admitted that the importance of these games mean he is unlikely to dislodge Shay Given, even though Given is not playing at all with Stoke City.

O’Neill will trim the squad before the group meets up in Dublin on Octber 3 to prepare for the German game.

Read more: Martin O'Neill holds talks with Daniel Cleary and avoids Jack Grealish deadline

Speaking at today's press conference in FAI HQ, Ireland manager O’Neill said, “After collecting six points from our last two qualifying games, we want to keep the momentum going and continue to push towards sealing qualification from what has proved to be a very difficult group.

“We will welcome Germany to the Aviva Stadium for our next game before travelling to Warsaw to meet Poland, but our focus is very much on Germany. We know that the supporters will be right behind us and the players want to produce another big performance.”

O’Neill is hopeful that full-back Seamus Coleman will be fit to face the world champions after picking up a hamstring injury against Chelsea last weekend.

“He felt a bit of tightness in a game that we played. He will give everything to be fit for Germany.”

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