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Timely boost for O'Neill as McGeady back in Everton squad for Kiev

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Everton's Aiden McGeady is a key part of Martin O'Neill's plans for the crucial Euro 2016 qualifier with Poland on Sunday week

Everton's Aiden McGeady is a key part of Martin O'Neill's plans for the crucial Euro 2016 qualifier with Poland on Sunday week

SPORTSFILE

Everton's Aiden McGeady is a key part of Martin O'Neill's plans for the crucial Euro 2016 qualifier with Poland on Sunday week

Aiden McGeady has returned to full training with Everton ahead of tonight's Europa League trip to Dynamo Kiev, a development that will please Irish boss Martin O'Neill.

The 28-year-old, sidelined since January with bruising in his knee, is a key part of O'Neill's plans for the crucial Euro 2016 qualifier with Poland on Sunday week.

Roberto Martinez will decide this morning whether it's appropriate to pitch McGeady (below) in for the second leg with Kiev but the fact that he travelled with the panel is a serious boost for his Irish prospects.

"Aiden has trained the last two days and we will make a decision in the morning," said Martinez.

Ireland striker Jon Walters had an operation on his fractured cheekbone yesterday and is determined to figure in the Polish encounter even if it means wearing a protective mask.

Meanwhile, Seamus Coleman says that Everton retain the belief they can challenge for the Europa League trophy.

The Toffees hold a 2-1 lead from last Thursday's first leg with the Ukrainians but have struggled domestically this term.

But the Donegal lad says that coming from a goal behind in the first encounter and then following up with a weekend dismissal of Newcastle has improved confidence levels.

"We played very hard all last season to get to this competition and as soon as we got here our aim was to win it," said Coleman after arriving in Kiev.

"We have had two good results back to back - we kept going and doing the right things. It has been brilliant for the squad. Keeping a clean sheet was important on Sunday as well."

Manager Martinez is proud that Everton have survived to the round of 16, particularly given how English clubs have found it difficult in the Champions League.

"It shows how difficult our domestic league is where every game has to be fought for," said the Spaniard.

"Hopefully we can continue to make everybody associated with Everton proud of what we are doing in Europe."

Dynamo Kiev v Everton,

Live, TV3, 6.0

Irish Independent