McAteer and Holland sit out training


Roy Keane, Shay Given and Alan Kelly arrive for training in the sweltering heat of Saipan (© Inpho)

Jason McAteer and Matt Holland both missed the Republic of Ireland's first training session in Saipan today but neither midfielder has given manager Mick McCarthy cause for concern.

Both players are nursing ankle knocks picked up in Thursday's 2-1 friendly defeat by Nigeria, and Ipswich skipper Holland also had a slightly sore throat.

They sat out the early morning light training session, while the other 21 players engaged in some walking and jogging in the searing heat and humidity.

"The lads just had a blow today, just a sweat, to get their lungs open," said McCarthy.

"It was just a case of getting them back into the swing of things after travelling for 24 hours.

"I am not worried about Jason or Matt's fitness levels, they are extremely fit, and I am sure they will be back in training tomorrow.

"We'll not be doing masses while we are here, and certainly we'll be doing more technical and tactical work when we get to Izumo next week. Here it is just about getting acclimatised and I am very happy with the facilities, it is a lovely place.

As McCarthy said, today's short session at the Francisco Palacious Sports Complex was just meant to blow away the cobwebs following the long journey to the Pacific from Dublin.

The players were weighed before and after the session and are being encouraged to drink five litres of water and energy drinks each day as their bodies come to terms with the conditions.

The Republic squad fly to Izumo on Friday, and then on Saturday face a friendly against Sanfrecce Hiroshima. McCarthy then plans to go and watch the friendly between his team's Group E rivals Cameroon and England in Kobe.