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Another injury blow for McCarthy as Long sidelined for double-header

The Southampton striker will miss the games against Gibraltar and Georgia.

MICK MCCARTHY’S ATTACKING options for the start of Ireland’s 2020 European Championship qualifying campaign have taken another hit with the news Shane Long has withdrawn from the squad through injury.

The Southampton striker linked up with the national team at FAI headquarters in Abbotstown yesterday, but has now pulled out of the games against Gibraltar and Georgia with a groin problem.

Shane Long Long training at Abbotstown yesterday. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Millwall’s Aiden O’Brien, who was named in McCarthy’s extended panel, has been called up and will report for duty on Wednesday.

Long’s withdrawal leaves McCarthy with Sean Maguire, David McGoldrick, O’Brien and uncapped James Collins as his only fit and available strikers for Saturday’s Group D opener at the Victoria Stadium.

Ireland then return to the Aviva Stadium to host Georgia on Tuesday 26 March. 

Gavin Cooney
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32-year-old Long joins Alan Browne, Callum O’Dowda, Ronan Curtis, James McCarthy and Michael Obafemi on the injured list.

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