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Dublin: 6°C Monday 19 April 2021

Shane Long and Robbie Brady miss out as McCarthy finalises Irish squad for Swiss qualifier

Jack Byrne and James McCarthy make the cut, however.

Shane Long.
Shane Long.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

SHANE LONG AND Robbie Brady have missed out as Irish manager Mick McCarthy today finalised his squad for next week’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Switzerland. 

Having named a 40-man provisional squad last week, McCarthy today whittled it down to 25 players and Brady misses out with a rib injury.

Meanwhile, Long’s falling out of favour at Southampton has harmed his international prospects: the striker has yet to make a matchday squad in the Premier League this season and could only manage a substitute appearance in the Carabao Cup earlier this week. 

Long’s club-mate Michael Obafemi drops out of the squad to link up with Stephen Kenny’s U21s, as do Troy Parrott and Nathan Collins. 

Shamrock Rovers’ Jack Byrne does make the cut, and James McCarthy is included in a finalised McCarthy squad for the first time having secured first-team minutes at Crystal Palace. 

Mark Travers is included after his penalty shootout heroics for Bournemouth last night, while Alan Browne is included having been forced out of all of McCarthy’s previous squads through injury. 

“The big thing in picking this squad has been game-time for the players,” McCarthy told the FAI. 

“I named a 40-man provisional squad a fortnight ago because so many of the players had yet to play for their clubs but thankfully that situation has improved dramatically since then.

“I watched James McCarthy play the full 90 minutes for Palace in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday while Alan Kelly was at Burnley on Wednesday night to see Jeff Hendrick and Kevin Long start against Sunderland.

Alan Browne is back in the team at Preston and Mark Travers started for Bournemouth on Wednesday and saved three penalties. Conor Hourihane scored two goals for Aston Villa at Crewe on Tuesday and Glenn Whelan is playing again now that he has signed for Hearts. It is great to have them back on the pitch ahead of such a big game against the Swiss and then for the friendly against Bulgaria.

“I’m also looking forward to seeing Jack Byrne in action for Rovers against Bohs on Friday night. He got two great goals in Waterford last week and he is the form player for Stephen Bradley right now.”

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Ireland are top of Group D with 10 points from four games, although that is somewhat skewed by the fact two of those games were against Gibraltar. The group ends with a much more difficult run of fixtures, beginning with the visit of Switzerland to the Aviva Stadium next Thursday, 5 September. 

The Swiss trail Ireland by six points, but have two games in hand. 

Ireland also face Bulgaria in a friendly game in Dublin on Tuesday, 10 September. 

Republic of Ireland Squad

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Mark Travers (Bournemouth)

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Richard Keogh (Derby County), John Egan (Sheffield United), Kevin Long (Burnley), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United)

Midfielders: Alan Judge (Ipswich Town), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Jack Byrne (Shamrock Rovers), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), James McCarthy (Crystal Palace), Glenn Whelan (Hearts), Josh Cullen (Charlton Athletic), James McClean (Stoke City), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth)

Forwards: Callum Robinson (Sheffield United), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Scott Hogan (Stoke City), David McGoldrick (Sheffield United)

About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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