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JAMES McCarthy put in some work in the gym today and sat out training while Martin O'Neill put his players through their paces at Gannon Park but the signs are good for the Everton midfielder in advance of Friday's crunch showdown with Scotland.

JAMES McCarthy put in some work in the gym today and sat out training while Martin O'Neill put his players through their paces at Gannon Park but the signs are good for the Everton midfielder in advance of Friday's crunch showdown with Scotland.

Sources suggest that his hamstring injury is not a major one and that he will be fit to play at Celtic Park, a development which would be a huge relief to O'Neill.

McCarthy will be monitored closely over the next few days as indeed will Stephen Ward who also spent the morning in the gym.

O'Neill was pleased to see everyone else take a full part and that included the remarkable Glenn Whelan who has shrugged aside a fractured leg to put himself in the frame for this massive Euro 2016 qualifier.

Whelan was a surprise arrival at the Ireland team hotel last night and while he is still racing to be fit in time, the effort he made to be in Dublin set the tone for the rest of the week.


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