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Sunday 11 December 2016

Wes Hoolahan major injury doubt ahead of England and Scotland clashes

Midfielder takes stand against Norwich in attempt to prove fitness ahead of Sunday's clash

Wes Hoolahan, Republic of Ireland, celebrates with team-mate Robbie Keane after scoring his side's seventh goal
Wes Hoolahan, Republic of Ireland, celebrates with team-mate Robbie Keane after scoring his side's seventh goal

MARTIN O'Neill has revealed that Wes Hoolahan is an injury doubt for Ireland's big double-header against England and Scotland but that the gifted playmaker took a stand against newly promoted Norwich to make sure he is ready and available.

Hoolahan was asked by the Canaries to sit out Ireland's summer schedule to allow a niggle behind his knee to recover in time for the new season.

"Wes is doing a couple of extra days at Norwich. There is a possibility Norwich wanted him not to play in the games I think to get himself right in the summertime but Wes thankfully has left that out of the equation, and I think he's going to be alright," said O'Neill. "His issue he's carrying a little injury for a while. I think it's the back of knee, he's talking about. It's to do with the tendon there. Maybe I'm making more of it is than it is but Wes wants to play the games, which is great for us."

O'Neill (below) is fully committed to pushing his players hard against England even if both countries have Euro 2016 qualification on their mind. "Well I haven't spoken to Roy recently but from our own viewpoint, the game is very important and I think if you're in with that sort of approach you might as well not bother playing the game."

"It's 20 years ago since the last debacle. I call it a debacle because that's exactly what it was. Hopefully life has moved on since then and of course it's a big game and obviously has historic interest."

"It's a great game for us to be involved in and I've said that since it's been announced, really great as we have a game against Scotland the following week and barring injury it will be great preparation for us considering some of the players will not have played for about a month."

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