Wembley hero Long to captain Ireland
Shane Long will captain Ireland at the Aviva Stadium this evening, bringing a fitting end to a week when he scored Ireland's goal against England at Wembley.
"I didn't think this week could get any better," Long said yesterday before describing the captaincy as "the greatest honour".
Long has struggled to persuade manager Giovanni Trapattoni of his merits but, ahead of the friendly against Georgia, Ireland's manager hailed him.
"He is a senior player now and he can think not only about himself but what he can do for the others in the team," Trapattoni said.
Long and Trapattoni have had their differences but they were, Long said yesterday, "forgotten now" with both men stressing that Trapattoni had never called him an idiot when he expressed his frustration after a friendly against Serbia.
"He called me idiotic," Long said before insisting the matter had been taken out of context.
Only Long and midfielder James McCarthy – who are both suspended for Friday's World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands – are retained from last Wednesday's starting line-up.
Richard Dunne is expected to play half an hour today after nearly a year out, Trapattoni also confirmed yesterday.
Rep of Ireland (v Georgia): Westwood, McShane, R Keogh, Delaney, Wilson, A Keogh, Hoolihan, McCarthy, McClean, Cox, Long.