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Good news from the Ireland camp on Ward and Walters ahead of France meeting

Martin O’Neill gave an update on the fitness of his two injury worries at today’s pre-match press conference in Lyon.

Stephen Ward, Seamus Coleman and Robbie Keane during today's session.
Stephen Ward, Seamus Coleman and Robbie Keane during today's session.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Ben Blake reports from Lyon 

MARTIN O’NEILL IS positive that he will have a full squad to choose from when Ireland face France at Euro 2016 tomorrow afternoon.

A place in the quarter-finals is up for grabs when the sides meet at Parc Olympique Lyonnais, but there are questions marks over the fitness of Stephen Ward (ankle) and Jon Walters (tendonitis).

However, both trained today and the Ireland manager is hopeful the pair can play some part.

“Stephen Ward I’m hoping will do a little bit today and is improving daily, which is good news,” O’Neill said. “Jon has done very well the last couple of days as well have a little look see how they are.

“Stephen’s injury was a kick. It’s blown up quite severely, but he is doing very well.”

Speaking to FAI TV, he added: “It’s settling down a bit and hopefully he should make it.”

Source: FAI TV/YouTube

Opponents France possess one of the most talented set of players in the world, and O’Neill would like to see his team show as much confidence on the ball as they did in the win over Italy.

“We meet this quality opposition on a regular basis at international level, so the players are ready for it,” he added.

“You might be doing a disservice to some of the Italians who play at a pretty high level to say that they wouldn’t be the same quality as the French.

The French have very good players who play in big teams and they obviously have to be watched very carefully.

“We will approach it like that, but when we get the ball, we will try to use it as well as we did the other evening.”

Listen to The42′s Ben Blake on the 98FM Euro 2016 Daily podcast throughout the tournament 

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Ben Blake

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