Tuesday 12 December 2017

Dunne out to make amends

RICHARD Dunne will give everything he has to bring the FA Cup home to Villa Park after a bitterly disappointing day out at Wembley left him groping for excuses.

"I made a mistake and if you give United a chance, they score. We gave it a good go, we've got a chance in the FA Cup and hopefully we will be able to go one better," said Dunne.

Dunne is due to link up with the rest of Giovanni Trapattoni's Irish squad in advance of tomorrow night's friendly against Brazil at the Emirates but his involvement is uncertain because of a knock picked up in Wembley and that could open the door for new recruit Marc Wilson.

Injury has already ruled out skipper Robbie Keane who had to endure an equally big body blow in his first Old Firm derby when Celtic were beaten in the final seconds of a scrappy encounter at Ibrox and has been forced to withdraw from the Irish squad by a recurrence of a knee injury. Aiden McGeady, struggling with a virus according to Tony Mowbray, has joined his Irish team-mates.

Both Wilson and James McCarthy were happy to take the opportunity of their first official press conference to hammer home a message to the Irish and Scottish FA.

Officials in Belfast intend to pursue the matter of Northern Irish born players switching allegiance to the Republic at CAS in Switzerland but Wilson doesn't see the point.

"It wasn't up for discussion," said Wilson when asked about his decision to declare for the Republic and the fall-out from his choice.

"It was an easy decision for me. I've always supported the Republic of Ireland since I was growing up," said Wilson, who understands Nigel Worthington's dilemma but sees no point in the IFA pursuing the unwilling.

"The manager wants to have as many players in his squad as he can but I think if the player doesn't want to play, it's his decision. That's what it boils down to. The first time away with Ireland was in Sweden and I loved it and it felt right," he said.

McCarthy has long been the subject of a nasty and at times savage campaign of abuse from Scottish fans but as he indicated several times in the last few months, he is not for turning, although an ankle injury might well push his senior debut out by a few more months.

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