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Sunday 11 December 2016

O'Shea woe for O'Neill

Ireland boss sweats on Cats defender

Sunderland’s John O’Shea is treated for an injury before being brought off during the Premier League match at Sunderland
Sunderland’s John O’Shea is treated for an injury before being brought off during the Premier League match at Sunderland

Martin O'Neill has a huge defensive headache in advance of Ireland's Euro 2016 play-off against Bosnia Herzegovnia in three weeks' time after John O'Shea pulled up with a hamstring strain in Sunderland's 3-0 derby win over Newcastle.

O'Shea had to leave the field in the first half after pull up in some discomfort and must be border line for the second leg against Bosnia at the Aviva on November 16.

O'Neill was already struggling for bodies ahead of the first leg in Zenica because of O'Shea's suspension following a red card in Warsaw.

The Ireland boss was hoping to see Ciaran Clark return from the injury which ruled him out of the qualifying games against Germany and Poland after indications from Tim Sherwood that he was fit to play against Swansea on Saturday.

But on the day the Aston Villa manager lost the match to Swansea and then subsequently lost his job, there was no sign of the Irish utility man in the match day squad.

At least O'Neill had better news from Stoke, where Marc Wilson came off the bench in the ninth minute for his first outing in a month.

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