Dunne and Pilkington make Irish squad

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has announced an extended 29 man panel but there’s no place for Kevin Doyle

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Sun, Aug 25, 2013, 17:35

Giovanni Trapattoni has expressed confidence that both Richard Dunne and Anthony Pilkington can both figure for Ireland against Sweden on Friday week after including the pair in a squad of 29 from which Kevin Doyle is the most notable absentee.

The Italian was at QPR’s game with Bolton yesterday and he confirmed as he named his squad in Dublin this afternoon that he had seen enough to convince him that the former Everton and Manchester City centre back is getting back to sort of fitness levels required for a return to World Cup action.

“I saw him and while he wasn’t that busy he looked like he can be in good shape to play physically,” said the Ireland boss.

“He has other games to come and we can look at him in training during the week before the match but against the Swedish players – big and strong – I think he can be important for us. Of course we still have John O’Shea and Ciaran Clark, who have been good but he gives us another option.”

He seemed cautiously optimistic about the prospects of Pilkington will at least make it as far as joining up with the squad after being in contact with the player in recent days.

“He told me that he is hopeful that he will be ready,” he said, “and his doctor said he needs a week or two but that he might be....I am hopeful that he will come.”

Just about all of the other players about whom there have been injury concerns – David Forde, Sean St Ledger and Aiden McGeady – have been included in this preliminary group which Trapattoni described as “a huge squad because we just inform the clubs that we want their players but each time we lose some players,” before adding, “we can reduce it to 23 during the week of the game.”

For the moment at least, Paddy Madden retains his place in the squad after having made his debut in Cardiff but there is no place for long time regular Kevin Doyle.

The manager spoke warmly of the Wolves striker who has recently returned to the club’s first team but expressed the hope that he might get a move to a club playing at a higher level than League One.

Asked about how he feels the two qualifiers – against Sweden at home on September 6th and Austria away four days later – might go, Trapattoni expressed confidence that his side can “draw and win” although he didn’t seem to be suggesting that the results would come in that order.

Republic of Ireland squad: Forde (Millwall), Westwood (Sunderland), Randolph (Birmingham City), O’Shea (Sunderland), O’Brien (West Ham), St Ledger (Leicester City), Wilson (Stoke City), Coleman (Everton), Kelly (Reading), O’Dea (Metalurh Donetsk), Clark (Aston Villa), Dunne (QPR), McShane (Hull City), Whelan (Stoke City), McCarthy (Wigan Athletic), Green (Leeds United), Hendrick (Derby County), McGeady (Spartak Moscow), Pilkington (Norwich City), McClean (Wigan athletic), Brady (Hull City), Meyler (Hull City), Hoolahan (Norwich City), Long (West Brom), Keane (LA Galaxy), Sammon (Derby County), Walters (Stoke City), Madden (Yeovil Town), Cox (Nottingham Forest).