Harry Arter likely to be fit for World Cup qualifier with Austria
Bournemouth player hasn’t travelled to New York where Martin O’Neill will experiment
Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane during Ireland training at New York Red Bulls Training Facility, New York, USA. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Martin O’Neill says that he is still weighing up the final make-up of his squad for Sunday’s game against Uruguay and the World Cup qualifier against Austria, with the hopes of Marc Wilson and Darron Gibson making it appearing to depend on how some of the fresher faces do against Mexico here on Thursday night.
Harry Arter will, he said, be in Dublin by the time the group in New York gets back there on Friday afternoon while Glenn Whelan has been given a day or so more in order to attend a family wedding.
But Liam Kelly will not be involved at the weekend, it seems, and the manager did not sound hugely encouraging about Wilson and Gibson’s prospects.
“Once we finish this game (we will) see how people come through,” he said. “Obviously Wilson, great as a person, but he hasn’t played that much. That’s the point.
“We do have some boys who have played more games at this minute and that might become very important in the middle of June when you haven’t played in a long time. Darron . . . the same. I wouldn’t dismiss people from my thoughts but it’s just the number of minutes.”
Getting the best part of a game under his belt here will help Shane Duffy on that front, he suggested, but Arter – who might have missed his club’s closing game of the season with any one of three different injuries he was carrying – needed to rest.
“I think he was getting over some things,” said O’Neill, although the sense seems to be that, with James McCarthy out, the midfielder should be available to feature when it really matters – against Austria on Sunday week.
O’Neill said that the players were still getting over the time difference as they trained at the Red Bulls base in Morristown, New Jersey on Tuesday.
But he said they are “in good fettle,” ahead of a friendly in which the likes of Kevin Long, Alan Browne and Conor Hourihane will be hoping for opportunities to catch their manager’s eye.
All 19 players took part in the session and everyone is available for the game in which the managers are allowed to make six substitutions each.
Ireland squad: Colin Doyle (Bradford), Darren Randolph (West Ham), Cyrus Christie, Alex Pearce, Richard Keogh (all Derby), Shane Duffy (Brighton), Andy Boyle (Preston), Kevin Long (Burnley), John Egan (Brentford), Eunan O’Kane (Leeds), Alan Browne, Daryl Horgan (both Preston), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich), Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), James McClean (West Brom), David McGoldrick (Ipswich), Daryl Murphy (Newcastle).