Aiden O’Brien replaces Shane Long in Ireland squad
Meanwhile, Richard Keogh has put off surgery on his broken hand in order to play
Millwall’s Aiden O’Brien has been called into the Ireland squad to replace injured Shane Long for the Euro 2020 qualifiers. Photo: Getty Images
Shane Long is out of Ireland’s two European Championship qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia with Millwall striker Aiden O’Brien called in to replace him.
The Southampton striker had arrived in to train with the squad this week but sat this morning’s session at Abbotstown out as it became clear that he would not be fit enough to play a part in either of the games during the coming week.
The news is a blow to Mick McCarthy as he prepares for the first two games of his second stint in charge of the senior team but not as great a one as it might once have been considered with Long having only started two games for Ireland last year and featured in four.
O’Brien comes in after having scored in the FA Cup game against Brighton at the weekend and the rest of McCarthy’s squad trained with the likes of Conor Hourihane, Keiren Westwood and Shane Duffy taking a full part for the first time after having arrived late for different reasons.
Richard Keogh, meanwhile, is set to be available despite having broken his finger in Derby’s game last week against Stoke City which he completed despite the problem.
“I did a bit of DIY and got through the game,” he says. “I went for the X-ray and at first they were talking about surgery. This was before I spoke to the hand surgeon and I didn’t particularly want to do that.
“When I spoke to him, I just said, ‘Listen, if there’s a chance of me playing, I just want to carry on playing if that’s at all possible. I don’t want to have surgery’. I’d rather just take the risk, I suppose, and just crack on.
“He saw the X-ray and said, ‘I think we can do that’. If it hadn’t been the middle of my finger where it’s protected by the other two, I think I might have had to have surgery and been out for a bit.”