Assistant Ireland boss, Roy Keane was cagey about Jeff Hendrick’s fitness yesterday as injury concerns mount for Ireland ahead of Saturday’s crunch World Cup play off in Copenhagen.
Reacting to reports on Tuesday that the Burnley midfielder had been sent for a scan, Keane
told a press conference at FAI headquarters; “There’s no real news on Jeff, obviously he didn’t train today. I’m personally not overly worried but come Thursday or Friday, we might be”.
Keane claimed that he hadn’t really spoken to Hendrick about the injury but “wanted to see how the next few days go”.
Jon Walters, James McCarthy, Seanie Maguire and Richard Keogh are already ruled out and Keane added that there are also doubts surrounding Hendrick’s Burnley team mate, left back Stephen Ward, saying that Ward was “looking after his knee a little bit and didn’t train today.”
With a difficult test facing the team, Keane said that this is what players should be in the game for;
“The players will give everything they can for their country. That’s what they’ve done the last three or four years, they’ve been great to work with. We’re so near but so far as well, it’s a tough couple of games coming up”.
Pressed on how Ireland can stop Denmark playmaker, Spurs’ Christian Eriksen, Keane said:
“Obviously he’s a big player for them. We’ll hopefully have players in the team who’ll know what to do. We’ve come up against some really good players before and we’ve found a way to stop them. You can’t overestimate the opposition and underestimate yourselves.”
When asked could Ireland now be considered a big game team having previously come up with big results in do or die scenarios, Keane said;
“We know the players can turn up. We’ve had difficult nights as well, like Serbia recently and Scotland in the last campaign but when there’s been big questions put to the players they’ve come up with the answers. They’ll need to do that again on Saturday”.