Ryan Byrne/INPHO David McGoldrick celebrates his equaliser against Switzerland last month.
Injury problems

McGoldrick and Duffy absent as Mick McCarthy names Irish squad for crucial Euro qualifiers

The Irish manager has stuck with the tried and trusted with none of Stephen Kenny’s U21 squad called up for games away to Georgia and Switzerland.

MICK MCCARTHY HAS today named an injury-depleted, 24-man squad for this month’s Euro 2020 qualifiers away to Georgia and Switzerland.

As expected, Shane Duffy misses out with a calf injury, joining Richard Keogh on the sidelines. In a further blow to McCarthy, David McGoldrick misses out through injury as well. In a potentially decisive double-header, McCarthy will be forced to shuffle his starting line-up to a degree unprecedented in this campaign thus far. 

The back four of Seamus Coleman, Duffy, Keogh and Enda Stevens have played every minute of the qualifiers thus far, but only Coleman is available for the game with Georgia on 12 October. 

Stevens is suspended for that game, although is included in the squad for the Swiss game on 15 October.

Greg Cunningham and the returning Matt Doherty are expected to be the available deputies for Stevens in Georgia, while two of John Egan, Kevin Long, and Darragh Lenihan will replace Duffy and Keogh. 

“Terry Connor has been to watch Darragh and Greg play for Blackburn and they have shown him they will be good additions for this squad,” McCarthy told the FAI. 

“Enda Stevens is suspended for the game in Tbilisi against Georgia and Greg is one of the most experienced left-backs available to us. He was with us in the summer and he knows what we want.

“We’ve watched Darragh a number of times and Terry and the other scouts like his footballing ability. He has been in and around the squad before so I look forward to working with him.”

In spite of McGoldrick’s absence, Shane Long has not been called up by McCarthy, and nor have any of the forwards in Stephen Kenny’s U21 squad, notably Aaron Connolly, Michael Obafemi, or Troy Parrott. 

James Collins, Seani Maguire, Callum Robinson, Alan Judge and Scott Hogan are the named forwards. 

Shamrock Rovers’ Jack Byrne does make the cut, and may this month become the first domestic-based player to play a competitive senior international game for Ireland since Pat Byrne did so under Eoin Hand in 1985. 

There are again no places for James McCarthy and Robbie Brady, with established midfield trio Glenn Whelan, Conor Hourihane and Jeff Hendrick joined by Byrne, James McClean, Ronan Curtis, Alan Browne, Callum O’Dowda, and Josh Cullen. 

Darren Randolph is backed up by Mark Travers and Kieran O’Hara. 

Republic of Ireland Squad 

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth), Kieran O’Hara (Burton Albion, on loan from Manchester United)

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Kevin Long (Burnley), John Egan (Sheffield United), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers), Greg Cunningham (Blackburn Rovers), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United)

Midfielders: Alan Browne (Preston North End), Josh Cullen (Charlton Athletic, on loan from West Ham United), Glenn Whelan (Heart of Midlothian), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), James McClean (Stoke City), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), Jack Byrne (Shamrock Rovers)

Forwards: James Collins (Luton Town), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Callum Robinson (Sheffield United), Alan Judge (Ipswich Town), Scott Hogan (Stoke City, on loan from Aston Villa)

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