Wednesday 21 November 2018

O'Neill watches Brady comeback

Robbie Brady. Photo: Sportsfile
Robbie Brady. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

The end of a long, gruelling road to recovery is finally approaching for Robbie Brady after he yesterday played his first full 90 minutes since December in front of Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane.

Ireland's managerial pairing got a glimpse of what they sorely lacked in the recent limp Nations League performances against Denmark and Wales when the winger lined out for Burnley's U-23s against Sheffield United.

Burnley's second string ran out 6-0 winners over the Blades.

Brady, of course, was all set to feature in that double-header until a recurrence of a hamstring strain in training ruled him out.

The Dubliner had picked up the muscle injury just as it seemed he'd made a comeback from the ruptured patellar tendon suffered in December.

Presuming the Irishman feels no adverse reaction, Clarets boss Sean Dyche will likely include Brady in his first-team squad for Sunday's visit of Chelsea to Turf Moor.

That affords ample time to string together a run of games ahead of Ireland's next outings, the friendly against Northern Ireland on November 15 and Nations League concluder in Aarhus against Denmark four days later.

The rematch with the Danes will likely be academic as Age Hareide's side need just a point from their trip to Wales on November 16 to confirm Irish relegation to League C, and a third seeding in the Euro 2020 draw.

With Seamus Coleman back in action, all the Ireland management team yearn for now is the availability too of his Everton team-mate James McCarthy.

The midfielder is back in training following a broken leg but has yet to be part of the first-team squad this season.

Irish Independent

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