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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 27 January 2021

Coleman and O'Shea in race to be fit for Ireland's World Cup qualifying curtain-raiser

The pair returned to training today for the final session before the squad flies out to Serbia.

Coleman training at the FAI's National Training Centre.
Coleman training at the FAI's National Training Centre.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

IRELAND ARE WAITING on the fitness of two experienced defenders with three days to go until the 2018 World Cup qualifiers get started.

The squad trained out in Abbottstown this morning ahead of their departure for Belgrade, where Serbia should provide opposition in Monday night’s Group D curtain-raiser.

James McCarthy is ruled out having returned to Everton as he recovers from a groin injury, while the newly-retired Robbie Keane has left the squad after playing in his final international game on Wednesday night.

Both John O’Shea and Seamus Coleman are attempting to regain full fitness in time and took part at the FAI’s National Training Centre.

Sheasy joined in today, it was a pretty light session,” said assistant boss Roy Keane. “Seamus joined in too but did a bit extra at the end.

“We’ve got a few days to play with so we’re hopeful. I think Sheasy will be fine but the big question mark will be over Seamus. We’ll have a better idea if there is no reaction after the flight.”

John O'Shea O'Shea taking part in the warm-up this morning. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Keane added: “If John plays, he won’t let us down as he has got that experience but we’ve got other lads — (Paul) McShane, (Marc) Wilson, (Richard) Keogh, (Alex) Pearce. They’re not 11 years of age, these lads.

“If Seamus gets through the next few days training and we feel that he’s fit, whatever questions marks about carrying knocks, they won’t let us down.”

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