Martin O’Neill announces extended squad

Republic of Ireland manager will reduce the panel at the end of the month for the Oman and Georgia games

Darron Gibson returns to Republic of Ireland squad. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Darron Gibson returns to Republic of Ireland squad. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Thu, Aug 21, 2014, 13:27

Martin O’Neill today named a provisional 36-man squad for the Republic of Ireland’s upcoming games against Oman and Georgia.

Ireland will take on Oman in the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday, September 3rd (7.45)ahead of their opening Euro 2016 Group D Qualifier against Georgia in Tbilisi on September 7th. The squad will be reduced ahead of meeting up on August 31st.

O’Neill said: “‘I have had the opportunity to work with the players since last November, and we are well prepared as we embark upon the first of our qualifiers next month.

“Oman will provide a good test to start our trip before we travel to Tbilisi. We are focused on the task in hand, and look forward to the challenges ahead of us.”

Darron Gibson returns to the squad after a long term injury but there is no place for young Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish.

Of the Birmingham-born Grealish, who is eligible for England, O’Neill said : “I spoke to his father, I spoke to Jack. I think like anything else, he’s a young kid coming through with a lot of potential and I just think they just want to take a little bit of time.

“He’s got a number of options and he’s felt comfortable playing underage level but it’s a totally different thing to committing yourself to senior football. He’s got a lot of talent. He’s got taller. He’s got stronger the last couple of months. It was a decent conversation and I think I’ll just leave it at that at the moment.”

As for other potential new recruits, O’Neill refused to name names but said: “One or two of them are closer to making decision, put it that way.”

Tottenham striker Harry Kane, defender Kyle Naughton and former England under-21 captain Mark Noble are all eligible for Ireland.

Gibson hasn’t played since last October but he could make his return for Everton over the next week. O’Neill admitted: “In terms of match fitness, Darron is a little bit below (optimum). He thought he might have been involved in the squad last week (Leicester) but I think he’s on the radar now and that’s good news for us all.”

Nottingham Forest midfielder Andy Reid is also struggling for fitness and James McClean is named squad despite an ankle injury and not having featured in pre-season or the new campaign with Wigan Athletic.

O’Neill spoke with the winger the other day. He is “doing some running” and “hopes to be involved at some stage”. He did warn, however, there are “not that many matches” between now and when the squad assembles.”

O’Neill added he saw no reason to change take the captaincy of Robbie Keane for the new campaign, given the positive influence he has on and off the pitch.

The Georgia game, the manager insisted, is a “tough” one. “The fixture list is not fantastic, with three of the first four games away, they really are tough fixtures. Georgia can play a bit, there’s no question about that, but that’s the nature of it, let’s get on with it.”

Republic of Ireland squad: Forde (Millwall), Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Randolph (Birmingham), Elliot (Newcastle), Keogh (Derby County), Wilson (Stoke), Coleman (Everton), O’Shea (Sunderland), Pearce (Reading), Kelly (Reading), McShane (Hull), Delaney (Crystal Palace), O’Brien (West Ham), Duffy (Everton), McCarthy (Everton), Hendrick (Derby County), Clark (Aston Villa), Ward (Burnley), Whelan (Stoke), Gibson (Everton), Reid (Nottingham Forest), McGeady (Everton), Pilkington(Cardiff), McClean (Wigan), Brady (Hull), Quinn (Hull), Meyler (Hull), Hoolahan (Norwich), Keane (LA Galaxy), Long (Southampton), Murphy (Ipswich), Walters(Stoke), Doyle (Wolves), Stokes (Celtic), Cox (Reading), Sammon Ipswich)..”

Republic of Ireland squad: Forde (Millwall), Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Randolph (Birmingham), Elliot (Newcastle), Keogh (Derby County), Wilson (Stoke), Coleman (Everton), O’Shea (Sunderland), Pearce (Reading), Kelly (Reading), McShane (Hull), Delaney (Crystal Palace), O’Brien (West Ham), Duffy (Everton), McCarthy (Everton), Hendrik (Derby County), Clark (Aston Villa), Ward (Burnley), Whelan (Stoke), Gibson (Everton), Reid (Nottingham Forest), McGeady (Everton), Pilkington (Cardiff), McClean (Wigan), Brady (Hull), Quinn (Hull), Meyler (Hull), Hoolahan (Norwich), Keane (LA Galaxy), Long (Southampton), Murphy (Ipswich), Walters (Stoke), Doyle (Wolves), Stokes (Celtic), Cox (Reading), Sammon Ipswich).

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.