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Egan set to miss Scotland clash as Kenny reveals defender was due to be captain

Ireland boss to make a number of changes in bid to get first Nations League points on the board in crucial clash on Saturday.

Ireland boss Stephen Kenny.
Ireland boss Stephen Kenny.

JOHN EGAN IS set to miss Ireland’s Nations League game with Scotland on Saturday in what looks to be a double whammy for manager Stephen Kenny.

The Dubliner confirmed that Egan was also set to replace Shane Duffy as captain for the vital clash at Aviva Stadium, meaning he could now be forced into another re-think as he bids to freshen up his side and get the first points on the board in this beleaguered League B campaign.

Egan limped off during the 1-0 defeat to Ukraine on Wednesday after rolling his ankle in the first half and then attempting to play through the pain in the second.

“He is unlikely to play looking at the way he came off. He’s obviously an important player for us, so that’s disappointing,” Kenny said.

“He would have been due to captain the team on Saturday, so that is an unfortunate one for him.”

Duffy wore the armband on Wednesday in place of Seamus Coleman, who was ruled out with a groin injury following the 1-0 defeat in Armenia, and it would appear that the Everton veteran is now also unlikely to be fit in time to feature against the Scots.

Kenny already admitted that further changes would be required after back-to-back defeats, and ahead of a vital third game in this four-fixture window over 10 days, the Ireland boss was adamant that they are on the right track under his stewardship.

john-egan-receives-medical-attention John Egan limps off on Wednesday. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

“We’re disappointed in the last couple of games. I think we are building something really progressive. Statistically we are not backing that up, I know that,” he added.

“But I think we’re building something really progressive and I think people can see that. We weren’t perfect [against Ukraine], we were okay and played well in spells.

“People have seen a lot of progression in the matches over the last 12 games. Obviously we have introduced a huge number of players who are getting better.

We have missed a few players in this camp but that is part of it. We can’t use that as an excuse. A couple of key players. But we have to dust ourselves down.

“We have no points after these two games, but we should have more on the board but we don’t. We just need to try and get a big win against Scotland on Saturday.”

Gavin Cooney
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In the 17 competitive fixtures during Kenny’s reign, Ireland have won twice, drawn seven times and lost on eight occasions – all of those defeats by just a single goal.

“We troubled Portugal and Serbia even though we haven’t beat them, we drew with them. We troubled Belgium recently. We have the capacity to do that,” he explained.

“We troubled Ukraine too, as we hit the bar to equalise and had a few shots that went over, so we did trouble Ukraine. We can’t say we haven’t. We troubled them as much as they troubled us.

“I know they were missing (players), but we were missing five as well, but they were missing more than that. Are we striving to get better? Yes, we are.

“Jason Knight showed a lot of creativity in that opening half in particular. He nearly equalised at the death as well. All of those attacking players are creative in different ways.”

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