Marc Wilson ruled out of Euro 2016 through knee injury
Defender has not played in an official match for Ireland or his club Stoke since January
Republic of Ireland’s Marc Wilson will sit out Euro 2016 due to injury. Photograph: Getty Images
Stoke City defender Marc Wilson has admitted defeat in his bid to be for the European Championships and informed the manager that it is clear at this stage that he will not be fit enough to be considered for a place on the plane for France.
The 28 year-old has not played competitively for his club since the end of January and suffered a significant setback to his recovery when he took part in a underage game a few weeks ago. Despite that, he had hoped to feature by the end of the season but that didn’t happen and now he has acknowledged that he has no chance of making Martin O’Neill’s final squad.
“He tried his utmost but the best thing for him is to take that four or five week rest and hopefully those problems with the knee clear up,” said O’Neill after the Irish squad’s first training session of the week today. “He feels twinges when he kicks the ball. He’s disappointed but he knew it would be a long shot.”
Wilson will come into Dublin this week to spend a couple of days with the squad as they continue their preparations for the tournament but is unlikely to stick around beyond the friendly game against the Netherlands on Friday night.
The loss of Wilson narrows O’Neill’s options at the back slightly but the manager has still cut Paul McShane and Alex Pearce from the original 35 man squad and placed the pair on standby instead. Anthony Pilkington and Johnny Hayes have suffered the same fate, a likely stepping stone to missing out on places in the 23 man panel.
“It was difficult to leave players out but eventually the squad will narrow down to 23 and there will be some difficult decisions between now and after Belarus game,” says O’Neill. “The players that I had to leave out, like Pearce, McShane, they are on standby. Obviously they are disappointed but anything can materialise between now and next Tuesday evening.”
It has been agreed, meanwhile, that Kevin Doyle stay with his club in the United States until the weekend so that he can get game time there before joining up with the squad for the match against Belarus.
“He wouldn’t have started on Friday, but he’s in good form,” says the manager. I’m never sure of what subs we would use and so I felt best thing would be play another game on weekend and come in for Belarus game; he agreed with that. But Robbie (Keane) is captain and his presence is pretty much needed immediately.”