Sunday 18 February 2018

McCarthy 'gave me his word' he will travel for New York clash – Tardelli

Ireland assistant manager Marco Tardelli
Ireland assistant manager Marco Tardelli
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

IRELAND assistant manager Marco Tardelli says that James McCarthy gave him his word he would travel to New York amid further confusion about where management and players stand on who is required for the trip to take on Spain next Tuesday.

Giovanni Trapattoni indicated on Monday that McCarthy had 'two or three situations' which were preventing him from fully committing to the trip, primarily a niggling groin problem, with the Ireland manager strongly encouraging the Wigan man to travel for the sake of supporters.

McCarthy left the camp on Sunday as he is suspended for Friday's World Cup qualifier with the Faroe Islands, and assistant manager Tardelli (pictured) revealed that the 22-year-old had assured him he would link up with the rest of the panel ahead of Saturday's flight.

"James McCarthy gave me his word and shook my hand and said that he would come back," said the Italian No 2.

However, uncertainty surrounds the participation of a number of other players, with Tardelli claiming he was unaware of suggestions that John O'Shea and Stephen Kelly would miss out.

Shane Long has been excused as he is getting married later in the week and Aiden McGeady expects to be treated in a similar fashion for the same reason, although Tardelli indicated that a decision on the Spartak Moscow player would not be made until after Friday’s match.

Preparations for the encounter with the Faroe Islands are ticking along.

Goalkeeper David Forde and Marc Wilson sat out training yesterday, but both are expected to take part in proceedings today – as is Richard Dunne, who watched the serious part of yesterday's action from the dugout, with the physios carefully managing his gradual return from the groin problem that ruled him out of last season’s entire club campaign.


Nothing less than three points will do from Friday’s match, but the margin of victory is also important as goal difference will come into play if there is a tie for second place, and Austria and

Sweden are currently in a stronger position. In that regard, the identity of Robbie Keane's strike partner will be significant.

“We have many options to play with Robbie. There is (Conor) Sammon, or (Simon) Cox or (Jonathan) Walters,” said Tardelli.

“We have two or three days to decide, but I think it's possible that it will be Jonathan. He is very strong physically, strong when heading the ball and has good quality, he can also play on the right.”

With McGeady generally selected on the wing when available, moving Walters next to Keane would leave Cox and James McClean vying for the inclusion on the left side.

Wes Hoolahan is set to get the nod to partner Glenn Whelan in central midfield.

Irish Independent

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