McCarthy names tried-and-tested squad for World Cup
Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy named his 23-man World Cup squad this morning and has stayed faithful to the players who participated in the qualifying games.
Everton’s Lee Carsley and Mark Kennedy of Wolverhampton Wanderers are named in the squad.
But there are no places for Stephen Reid, Colin Healy, Gary Doherty, Rory Delap or goalkeeper Nick Colgan. McCarthy contacted the five players by telephone yesterday to say that they would not be travelling to the finals.
"I’ve said all along that the players who walked off the pitch in Tehran six months ago haven’t suddenly become not good enough to travel," McCarthy said.
"I asked myself if by leaving out someone who has been great for me all along, would I improve our chances of making progress in the world cup and I decided that it wouldn’t.
"I wasn’t going to make changes just for the sake of seeing a fresh face".
But Mark Kennedy could be withdrawn from the squad should he fail to recover from a groin injury. The winger will see a specialist later today but is expected to get the all clear.
"Mark will play a very big part of the game in Sunderland next Tuesday and I’ve told him that if he is anything less that 100 per cent fit there’s a big doubt about him travelling [to Japan]," said McCarthy.
"I’ve spoken to Dave Jones [Wolves manager] and he reckons he should be fine".
Republic of Ireland squad for the 2002 World Cup finals in Korea / Japan:
Goalkeepers:Shay Given, Alan Kelly, Dean Kiely.
Defenders:Steve Staunton, Ian Harte, Richard Dunne, Gary Breen, Andy O’Brien, Kenny Cunningham, Gary Kelly, Steve Finnan.
Midfield:Mark Kinsella, Matt Holland, Jason McAteer, Kevin Kilbane, Mark Kennedy, Lee Carsley, Roy Keane.
Strikers:Niall Quinn, Robbie Keane, Damien Duff, Clinton Morrison, David Connolly.
Details to follow