IRISH PAIR GET BACK IN CZECH SEAMUS COLEMAN and Aiden McGeady have boosted Giovanni Trapattoni's options for the friendly against the Czech Republic in just 14 days' time by returning from injury.
Coleman has been out of action with Everton for a month due to a thigh injury but he made his comeback in a reserve game yesterday.
The Donegal lad started the game, and scored, in a 6-3 win for Everton's second string over Newcastle United, with Shane Duffy also in action for the Toffees.
His last taste of international action was when he started in midfield in the 2-0 win over Italy in June and has yet to play in a competitive game for his country -- though Coleman did receive a boost when Trapattoni last week named him in the 24-man squad for the friendly against the Czechs.
Coleman made it into the squad ahead of hopefuls like James McClean, Wes Hoolahan and Anthony Pilkington and he also made it into a squad from which Andy Keogh and Liam Lawrence were axed. However, Coleman needs to put in some impressive displays for his club and country in the coming weeks if he's to make it into the 23-man squad for the finals.
Keogh sent out a reminder of his talent when he scored his first goal for Millwall against Brighton last night.
McGeady has resumed full training with his Spartak Moscow team-mates on their pre-season training camp in Spain after an injury scare.
The former Celtic man picked up a shin injury during training in the club's first trip to Spain last week and was sent back to Scotland for treatment, raising fears that he would miss the Czech Republic friendly and also the restart of the Russian league season a week later.
But he has rejoined his team-mates in Spain and took a full part in training yesterday.
Spartak play Spanish side Malaga in a friendly tonight and while McGeady may not be fit enough to start in that game, Spartak hope to give him a runout in the last friendly of their Spanish training camp next Monday.
The Russian league resumes after a winter break on March 5.
Meanwhile, Damien Delaney admits that his slim hopes of making it into the Ireland squad for the Euro 2012 finals rest on his form with Ipswich Town.
The Cork-born defender has only just returned to the Ipswich side after injury -- he started last night against Portsmouth for his first appearance in five weeks -- but is struggling to make an impact at international level.
He has been capped five times at senior level by Giovanni Trapattoni but has yet to make his competitive debut for Ireland.
"I have to be playing at Ipswich. If I'm not then I have no chance of going to the Euros," said the former Cork City man, who made his debut in Trapattoni's first game in charge, against Serbia.