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James McCarthy set to travel to the Euros despite injury issues

The manager also confirmed Ciaran Clark was okay despite being unavailable tomorrow

James McCarthy has 33 Ireland caps.
James McCarthy has 33 Ireland caps.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

MARTIN O’NEILL HAS confirmed James McCarthy won’t play for Ireland against the Netherlands tomorrow night, but is still set to travel with the team to France as part of the 23-man Euro 2016 squad.

O’Neill indicated that McCarthy may also miss out on Tuesday’s game in Cork against Belarus, while Ciaran Clark could also be out of both games.

O’Neill, however, indicated that neither injury was serious, and that McCarthy is effectively guaranteed a place on the plane.

“The scans have been pretty clear. So I think that James has done enough to be in the 23. He has been a major part of proceedings and that would be a type of situation I would certainly look at. If this is just an injury that just needs a little bit of extra time and he has played a lot of games for Everton…. His overall performances were fine and he’s had a run of games, then those extra couple of days (recuperating) might do him the world of good.”

However, while McCarthy is a special case, O’Neill suggested he was reluctant to risk too many players on the plane to France.

“I wouldn’t like to be going in with two or three players whose fitness has been a concern, not just over a day or two, but over a period of time,” the Ireland manager added.

The 64-year-old coach also confirmed John O’Shea would start tomorrow night.

The Waterford-born centre-back failed to make Sunderland’s starting XI towards the end of the season, with O’Neill consequently explaining that O’Shea “needs a game” to improve his match sharpness.

Looking ahead to tomorrow night’s encounter, the Ireland boss indicated that the team would likely comprise a “mixture” of established players and individuals who are on the fringes of the squad.

O’Neill predicted that the Dutch could cause the Boys in Green “plenty of problems,” and added that while he has spent plenty of time studying Ireland’s upcoming Euro 2016 opponents, he has yet to pass on his info to the players.

“I know their squads inside out, but haven’t imparted that particular knowledge to the players.

“Some of the lads enjoy the DVDs, some don’t enjoy them. The lads who don’t won’t be there,” the manager jokingly added.

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