Shane Duffy and Eunan O’Kane have been included in Ireland’s squad to face Mexico this week despite being involved in a car crash over the weekend.
Martin O’Neill’s 19 man squad departed for America today, and will take on Mexico in New Jersey on Thursday in an international friendly. Thursday’s game kicks off at the Metlife Stadium at 1am Irish time, and will be shown live on eirSport.
Most Premier League based players have been omitted from the squad, and Liam Kelly played for Reading (and scored a penalty) in today’s Championship playoff final defeat to Huddersfield at Wembley.
Prestion trio Andy Boyle, Alan Browne and Daryl Horgan have made the experimental squad, as have defenders Kevin Long and John Egan.
“It gives us a chance to experiment, possibly play three centre-backs and two wing backs,” Martin O’Neill said at Abbotstown today.
“I’m delighted with this game because it gives Championship players who haven’t been involved for a month a chance.
“The side against Uruguay might contain a lot of the players who you would think would need a game before the Austria game.”
O’Neill also revealed that Duffy and O’Kane are a little sore after their crash, but that both trained today ahead of Thursday’s challenge.
“Everyone is ok. The two lads who were involved in the accident are training. They are a little bit sore but they wanted to do something which is good news,” said the Ireland boss.
“There was a bit of a pile up and someone further up the line was stopped and the lads went into it.”
O’Neill also hinted that he might experiment with three at the back against the South American opposition, and no recognized left backs have been included in the squad.
“There is no recognized left back but it gives us the opportunity to experiment,” the Ireland boss said. “We could possibly play three centre-halves and two wing-backs. James has done that before.”
O’Neill praised McClean for wanting to be included in the fixture.
“Most of the boys who are playing in the Premier League will join up with us after the game in the US, but James wanted to come out. He has got a great attitude.”
Ireland squad for Mexico friendly:
Goalkeepers: Colin Doyle, Darren Randolph
Defenders: Cyrus Christie, Alex Pearce, Richard Keogh, Shane Duffy, Andy Boyle, Kevin Long, John Egan
Midfielders: Eunan O’Kane, Alan Browne, Daryl Horgan, Conor Hourihane, Wes Hoolahan, Stephen Gleeson, Callum O’Dowda, James McClean
Forwards: David McGoldrick, Daryl Murphy