Tuesday 21 November 2017

Jeff Hendrick emerges as fresh doubt ahead of Denmark playoff as Martin O'Neill trims down Ireland squad

Jeff Hendrick
Jeff Hendrick
Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill is 'hopeful' that Jeff Hendrick will be fit to take part in this Saturday's World Cup playoff first leg against Denmark despite the Burnley midfielder picking up an injury over the weekend.

Hendrick was substituted during his side's 1-0 win over Southampton on Saturday, with O'Neill revealing this evening that the Ireland star is now a doubt ahead of the trip to Copenhagen this weekend.

The attacking midfielder has been a key player for the Boys in Green throughout the qualifying campaign, and provided the crucial assist for James McClean's goal in the 1-0 win over Wales last month.

"Jeff, would be, he was substituted in the game," O'Neill said when asked whether there was a concern over Hendrick's fitness.

"He was feeling his injury at the time, he said he's improving.

"If the game was tomorrow morning, he might struggle, the most important thing is that he's hopeful and the medical team are hopeful too.

"He came off after 60 odd minutes, he was having a bit of a problem, he's still a bit sore so we'll see how he is."

Earlier in the day the FAI confirmed that Everton midfielder James McCarthy will join defender Richard Keogh and striker Sean Maguire in missing out on the playoff through injury, while David Meyler - who captained the side for the 1-0 win over Wales that booked Ireland a playoff spot - is suspended.

Daryl Horgan, David McGoldrick, Johnny Hayes and Alan Browne have been cut from the squad but remain on standby.

While Ireland have a few injury problems, so too do Denmark - Sevilla defender Simon Kjaer is a major doubt while striker Nicolai Jorgensen fractured his wrist playing for Feyenoord at the weekend.

Ireland take on the Danes in Copenhagen this Saturday night before the return leg at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday November 14.

Here is the Ireland squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Rob Elliot (Newcastle United), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Colin Doyle (Bradford City)

Defenders: Cyrus Christie (Middlesbrough), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Paul McShane (Reading), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), John O'Shea (Sunderland), Kevin Long, Stephen Ward (Burnley)

Midfielders: Aiden McGeady (Sunderland), Jeff Hendrick, Robbie Brady (Burnley), Glenn Whelan, Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), David Meyler (Hull City), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Eunan O'Kane (Leeds United), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City), Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion)

Forwards: Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Nottingham Forest), Scott Hogan (Aston Villa), Aiden O'Brien (Millwall)

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