Reid, Stokes, Gibson and Doyle all return for Ireland
Hull City’s Robbie Brady ruled out of Noel King’s first squad with a groin injury
Republic of Ireland interim senior manager Noel King. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA
Darron Gibson, Andy Reid and Anthony Stokes are all back in the 26 man Republic of Ireland squad named by interim manager Noel King at Abbotstown this afternoon but there is no space for the likes of Simon Cox, Andy Keogh or Darren O’Dea, all of whom were regulars in the panel under Giovanni Trapattoni.
Hull City’s Robbie Brady was named in the initial squad but dropped out this evening after it emerged he will undergo surgery tomorrow on a troublesome groin injury.
Jonathan Walters is also hampered by a groin strain but remained in the squad tonight, “after undergoing a scan this afternoon”, and will be assessed throughout the week.
King said that he has spoken with both Gibson and Stokes and that both are happy to be involved again but that he had been unable to get hold of Reid before naming him for the World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Kazakhstan.
The manager said he hopes to speak with the Nottingham Forest player today but that he does not expect that there will be any problems with the midfielder’s return some five years after he fell out with the Italian when Ireland last visited Germany for a game against Georgia.
“He seems to be doing very well,” said King of the 31 year-old. “He’s trimmed down, is in good condition and I like him as a player. He’s very smart, international smart and it will be good to have him in the group.”
Kevin Doyle is also recalled having only made one appearance in the squad, as a late call-up, since he came on and made quite an impact in Astana. King said that he has seen quite a bit of the striker in action for Wolves and a combination of his form and his passion for playing for Ireland had persuaded him to include the Wexfordman.
There is no return for Stephen Ireland, however, with the Stoke City midfielder having informed King that the opportunity has come too soon for him as he tried to re-establish himself at club level.
“I completely understand,” said King. “He’s been out for so long that he’s trying to get his career back on track and he feels he’s not ready in his head or in terms of physique....he just wants to be right but from what I understand he wants to play (for his country).”
Asked about the exclusion of O’Dea, who might be especially disappointed given that both Richard Dunne and John O’Shea are suspended for the Germany game, King observed: “It’s not nice; I’ve been left out of squads myself and he probably won’t like me right now but I had to make the call.”
Asked about whether he harbours any hopes of getting the job on a longer term basis, King was coy, joking that: “I work for the FAI now, I’m delighted to been asked to take these two games on and I hope that I still work for the association when they’re out of the way.”
He said that he would be targeting two wins in the games, observing: “It would be unnatural to look for anything else and (even against the likes of Germany) there are occasions when a game is there for the taking and if you aren’t ready to take it then that’s not great.”
Republic of Ireland (provisional squad): D Forde (Millwall), K Westwood (Sunderland), D Randolph (Birmingham City); J O’Brien (West Brom), S St Ledger (Leicester City), M Wilson (Stoke City), S Coleman (Everton), S Kelly (Reading), C Clark (Aston Villa), P McShane (Hull City); D Gibson (Everton), G Whelan (Stoke City), J McCarthy (Everton), P Green (Leeds United), A Reid (Nottingham Forest), A McGeady (Spartak Moscow), A Pilkington (Norwich City), J McClean (Wigan Athletic), S Quinn (Hull City), W Hoolahan (Norwich City); S Long (West Brom), R Keane (LA Galaxy), J Walters (Stoke City) , K Doyle (Wolves), A Stokes (Celtic).