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Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 18 May 2021

Huge boost for Ireland as Duffy declares himself fit for crucial double-header

David McGoldrick won’t be involved in Georgia but may be available to play a part against Switzerland.

Republic of Ireland defender Shane Duffy.
Republic of Ireland defender Shane Duffy.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THE REPUBLIC OF Ireland’s hopes of qualifying for next year’s European Championships have been boosted by the news that Shane Duffy has declared himself fit for the games against Georgia and Switzerland.

The Boys in Green will fly out to Tbilisi tomorrow for Saturday’s Group D clash with the Georgians, before facing the Swiss in Geneva on Tuesday.

Duffy had initially been expected to miss out on the crucial double-header after sustaining a calf injury a fortnight ago while playing for Brighton & Hove Albion in a Carabao Cup defeat to Aston Villa.

However, Ireland manager Mick McCarthy delivered a positive update this afternoon on the availability of the central defender, who has become a key player for his country. 

“I’ve just had a text from him saying he’s been given the all-clear this morning,” McCarthy said in a video posted by the FAI via social media.

“He’s trained with the lads [at Brighton] so he must have done some football work. That’s good news. He’s on a flight this afternoon to travel and he’ll be with us to travel to Georgia tomorrow.

“All along he’s been pretty confident that he’d be okay. It wasn’t as bad as they thought. He’s been running all week and he said he trained with the team this morning, so if he’s done full training he’s fine.” 

The outlook isn’t quite as bright for David McGoldrick, who’s been sidelined with a groin problem. Nevertheless, McCarthy hasn’t ruled the Sheffield United striker out entirely. 

He said: “I spoke to Didsy yesterday and he was still feeling the groin. Saturday is going to be far too soon but if he’s alright and he trains over the weekend, he might still be an option as a sub against Switzerland, maybe not starting after three weeks [out].” 

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- Originally published at 16.23

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Paul Dollery

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