herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Given decision isgood for Ireland

This is a big week ahead for Martin O'Neill and Ireland and he started it with a big decision on Shay Given (pictured), which I believe is the right one.

I'm sure Roy Keane has been keeping an eye on Shay at Villa Park and that he wouldn't be back in the squad if he didn't fancy what he's been seeing.

I expect him to start because of the nature of the game in Tbilisi. Ireland will need wise heads to guide the young lads through it.

The nine-month wait for O'Neill has been very valuable to him if a bit frustrating for the rest of us. He had so many friendlies and used so many players that it is hard to get a grip on what he is thinking.

Losing Jeff Hendrick is a blow. He started the season very well and looked like a man ready for his chance.

Losing Richard Dunne a month ago was also a blow but I'm sure O'Neill will have worked his way through all the scenarios, including one without Ireland's best defender for the last five years.

Ireland need a result, ideally a win, from Georgia. I reckon O'Neill has enough players to get it

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