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Club bosses strike notes of optimism for Ireland over Duffy and McGoldrick

The pair are currently sidelined with injuries ahead of a crucial double-header of Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Ireland's Shane Duffy and David McGoldrick.
Ireland's Shane Duffy and David McGoldrick.

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION manager Graham Potter today issued a positive update on the fitness of Republic of Ireland defender Shane Duffy.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has also struck a note of optimism regarding striker David McGoldrick.

A calf injury sustained by Duffy in his club’s Carabao Cup defeat to Aston Villa eight days ago looked likely to keep him out “for weeks rather than days”, according to Brighton’s initial assessment.

However, Potter explained this afternoon that while the centre-back won’t be involved in Saturday’s Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur, the outlook has improved for the 27-year-old, who has become a vital player for his country. 

“Shane Duffy is making good progress,” said Potter. “He won’t make the game [against Tottenham], but the diagnosis is better than we thought.”

The names of Duffy and McGoldrick were both absent from the 24-man squad named by Ireland manager Mick McCarthy on Tuesday for the forthcoming double-header of Euro 2020 qualifiers. The Boys in Green will take on Georgia in Tbilisi on 12 October, before travelling to Geneva for a clash with Switzerland three days later.

Despite the omission of both players, McCarthy insisted that the door remains open for the pair to link up with the squad should their fitness improve sufficiently.

McGoldrick, who scored a crucial late goal to earn a draw against the Swiss in Dublin last month, has missed Sheffield United’s last two Premier League fixtures because of a groin injury. He’ll remain sidelined for the trip to Watford on Saturday, but his club manager believes a return to action is imminent.

“We are in co-operation with the Republic of Ireland. It is important that the relationship is strong and it is,” Chris Wilder said, as quoted by the Yorkshire Post.

“We have to do the best for David; he might go over with the [Ireland] squad and we will find out in next couple of days, so they may have a look at him. He is getting closer. We will see what is what. But if we can get him fit for Mick [McCarthy], we will try to.

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“He wants to play for Ireland and he is an important part of the squad. If not, we will work with him and get him ready for Arsenal [on 21 October]. We are confident he will be back for that, and maybe the midweek game for the Republic [against Switzerland]. 

“We will make the decision. In the past, he has been played with injury issues and it is important we have a sensible approach, which we certainly have.”

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Paul Dollery

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