MARTIN O’NEILL HAS named a 35-man squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifier in Austria.
Dundalk defender Andy Boyle and winger Daryl Horgan make the cut for the first time.
Shane Long and Daryl Murphy are out with injuries, while Stephen Ward, James McCarthy and John O’Shea are included despite being doubts for the game.
Looking ahead to the match with Austria, O’Neill says the hosts will be tough opposition for Ireland, despite some disappointing recent results — most notably a defeat away to group rivals Serbia.
“I think they underachieved at the Euros,” O’Neill said. “They’re a better side than that suggested. They’ve had some difficult matches — away in Serbia is a tough place to go to get a result and they could have got something from the game.
“It’s hard to say in terms of position (in the group) where they should or shouldn’t be. I think by the time we get to seven or eight games, they’ll be right back in it again.”
The injury to Shane Long means Ireland are left with just four strikers for the game, but O’Neill backed Jon Walters to fill in in the centre forward position if necessary, having impressed there in the last few minutes of the recent qualification win over Moldova.
“When Shane went off, Jon played centre forward. It’s not an unusual position for him. He played there at Stoke. He’s played in a number of positions for us and I thought he made a marked difference for us at centre forward in the last 25 minutes of the game (against Moldova).”
The match with Austria takes place on 12 November.
Republic of Ireland Provisional Squad to face Austria
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (West Ham United), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Colin Doyle (Bradford City), Ian Lawlor (Manchester City), Danny Rogers (Falkirk*)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie, Richard Keogh, Alex Pearce (Derby County), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Paul McShane (Reading), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Andy Boyle (Dundalk), Stephen Ward (Burnley)
Midfielders: Aiden McGeady (Preston North End*), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), James McCarthy (Everton), Stephen Quinn (Reading), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Eunan O’Kane (Leeds United), David Meyler (Hull City), Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham City), Conor Hourihane (Barnsley), Robbie Brady, Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen), Daryl Horgan (Dundalk)
Forwards: Jonathan Walters (Stoke City), Adam Rooney (Aberdeen), Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids), David McGoldrick (Ipswich Town).
*Indicates player is currently on loan
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