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'It would have been the ideal opportunity for him' - Keane reveals Arter ruled out for Ireland

The Bournemouth midfielder is set to miss out on this week’s friendly games, while a number of other players are doubts.

Arter won't feature this week.
Arter won't feature this week.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

BOURNEMOUTH MIDFIELDER HARRY Arter will take no part in Ireland’s two friendly matches in Dublin this week after returning to his club for treatment.

The 26-year-old has been a regular in the Premier League with the Cherries since regaining his fitness from groin and hip problems picked up during his international debut against England last summer.

Manager Martin O’Neill had suggested Arter was likely to feature at some stage against Switzerland on Friday and Slovakia next Tuesday, but assistant boss Roy Keane has revealed an Achilles injury sustained in the defeat to Tottenham on Sunday has ruled him out of both matches.

“Harry’s gone back so you wouldn’t take a chance with any player,” said Keane at today’s media event at the FAI’s National Training Centre.

“He came over yesterday after he was struggling against Tottenham so with any player in friendly games you won’t take any risks.

“It’s unfortunate because I’m sure he’s desperate to get one or two games under his belt and he’s playing most weeks for Bournemouth. It’s disappointing but that’s part of the game.

“Hopefully he’ll have the chance to get involved for the Dutch game but it’s not ideal with players missing these games because I’m sure he would want to get one or two games under his belt.

It would have been the ideal opportunity for him but it’s not the end of the world and there won’t be any doors shut on him. The benefit is he is playing most weeks.

“We hope it’s not a serious injury and he’s gone back to get look after and rightly so. If a player’s not fit then you don’t play him.”

Jeff Hendrick (shoulder), Robbie Brady (shoulder), Jon Walters (knee) and Shane Long (rested) didn’t take part in today’s session, while captain Robbie Keane is set for a scan meaning he is also a doubt.

Roy Keane Ireland number two Keane. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

On a positive note, Keane has been impressed by the new players who have been added to the squad this week and he believes they can bring a different type of energy to the group.

“It’s been great, we’ve got lots of players and a lot of experience,” he added.

“You look at the new lads coming into the squad in the last few days, I think it is a good experience for them.

“They probably know it’s a long shot for them to make the squad for the summer but they’re coming over and your message to any young player is to try impress the manager.

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“Leave a good impression with the manager and the staff by how you train and how you behave around the hotel.

“We obviously keep an eye on them at the clubs but it really is good for me as a coach to see them at close hand. They’ve all done well, no one has embarrassed themselves as you would expect and if you asked them I’m sure they have enjoyed it.

“The spirit around the hotel has been good. Young kids bring a different type of energy to the group and if you speak to them then they’ll probably all say that they have enjoyed it.

There is a bit of competition and there was a good edge to training. I think young kids bring that because there’s a bit of energy and they’re kind of raw.

“Sometimes older players go easy on each other, whereas young players tend to get stuck in and want to make an impression.

“That’s fine as well, actually I like that.”

A view from squad training today The players training today. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Much has been made about the Jack Byrne’s first involvement with the senior set-up after the U21 midfielder was invited to train this week. 

And while Keane believes he looks a promising player, he says the Manchester City youngster is one for the future.

“We’ve seen him before with the U21s,” he said.

“It’s always nice to look at players, not just young players, close up in training. He’s confident, cocky, whatever way you want to put it.

“But yeah he’s settled into the squad and he still has to focus on the U21s but we like the look of him. He’s a talented boy but as we all know, it’s not just about talent and you need the rest of it.

“We’ve enjoyed working with him and hopefully he has enjoyed the experience. You’re probably looking at these type of players for the next campaign.”

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