BE PART OF THE TEAM

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 14°C Thursday 13 May 2021
Advertisement

'I don’t think he’s fit enough' - O'Neill surprised by McClean's inclusion in Ireland squad

The 31-year-old Stoke City winger has missed his club’s last seven games as a result of a foot injury.

James McClean with Stoke City manager Michael O'Neill.
James McClean with Stoke City manager Michael O'Neill.
Image: Richard Sellers

STOKE CITY MANAGER Michael O’Neill has admitted that he was surprised to learn of James McClean’s inclusion in the Republic of Ireland squad that was announced this week.

McClean was named in the panel of players selected by Ireland boss Stephen Kenny for next week’s games against Serbia and Luxembourg.

However, doubts remain over the 31-year-old winger’s fitness as he continues to recover from a foot injury that has ruled him out of Stoke’s last seven games.

According to O’Neill, McClean isn’t ready to play a part in the opening games of Ireland’s bid to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.

Ahead of his side’s win against Derby County today, O’Neill told the Stoke Sentinel: “James hasn’t trained yet. For me, he’s not fit. I don’t think he’s fit enough to be part of that squad.

“It’s up to Ireland to assess him, they have the right to do that – that’s the rules of international football – but he has not trained with us.

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

“He was out doing a bit of running [yesterday] and it was the first time he’s done that. He’s three weeks into the rehabilitation process with the injury and I’m surprised that Ireland have called him up

“If we had a game on Wednesday night, for example, like Ireland have, James wouldn’t be fit for that game.”

Ireland play Serbia on Wednesday in Belgrade, before hosting Luxembourg at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

About the author:

Paul Dollery

Read next:

COMMENTS (1)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel