Seamus Coleman winning race to be fit in to be fit for crunch Germany match
MARTIN O’Neill will tomorrow name Seamus Coleman in his squad for the Euro 2016 double header against Germany and Poland next month after Everton delivered a positive medical update on the full back.
But the Ireland boss faces a dilemma over another Everton player as Darron Gibson, who earlier this month pleaded guilty to a drink-driving offence, is likely to be fit in time for the October games, having made his comeback from injury in a reserve game for the Toffees on Monday.
Coleman was unable to see out the game for Everton in Saturday’s remarkable win over Chelsea, and once his club reported that he was suffering from a hamstring injury there were concerns in FAI circles, as Coleman missed the win over Gibraltar due a hamstring concern.
Mo Besic was also a worry for the club but Martinez says the duo’s injuries are not as bad as first feared and he expects them to make a rapid recovery – good news for O’Neill who needs Coleman at right back for that clash with Germany.
“Forty-eight hours after the game, we are quite positive in the way Mo and Seamus feel,” Martinez said yesterday.
“I think Seamus felt a lot better than Mo immediately after the game but we are going to get the scans done so we have a clear idea.
“I don’t think it looks as bad as we feared once it happened but we will get more information as the week goes on. We will see how long a period we are looking at for the two players.”
Gibson, who has been out of action since April, started for Everton’s U21 side on Monday night and, if he can gain match fitness in the coming weeks, could possibly come into contention for the Euro 2016 games, especially O’Neill needs midfield cover for the Germany game due to Glenn Whelan’s one-match ban.
Reading’s Stephen Quinn would be expected to fill Whelan’s shoes but Gibson, who has played in three qualifiers in this group, could point to his experience.
However, O’Neill made it clear earlier this month that he was unimpressed with the Derry man’s court appearance and guilty plea in relation to a drink-driving offence and he also expressed concerns over Gibson’s persistent injury problems. “Darron has not been properly fit for quite some considerable time,” O’Neill said. “The number of games that he has not played in the last couple of years is worrying.”
With James McClean also suspended for the Germany game and Aiden McGeady still not 100% ready, a fit-again Anthony Pilkington could come into contention.