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Kenny: Clubs are anxious

Covid scares making it harder to keep players for duty as Irish fly to Finland

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Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny at the Aviva Stadium yesterday

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny at the Aviva Stadium yesterday

SPORTSFILE

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny at the Aviva Stadium yesterday

Stephen Kenny will take a patched-up squad to Finland tomorrow for a Nations League tie after the FAI delayed the squad's departure to minimise any more Covid-19 related problems.

Dara O'Shea and Jason Knight were asked to leave the Irish U21 camp in Italy and report to Dublin last night, with call-ups also for Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth) and the uncapped Ryan Manning (QPR).

Kenny will be without the seven players who missed out on the last two games, due to Covid-19 issues, as well as the loss of Kevin Long (injury) and James McClean (suspension) after yesterday's 0-0 Nations League draw with Wales.

And the Irish boss, whose players were being tested again at their Dublin base last night, fears that "anxiety" among clubs will cause havoc with the next international window, which could see clubs refusing to release players for international duty.

"There are serious challenges and there is a lot of anxiety in the clubs and that is something for everything to consider," Kenny said.

The FAI confirmed last night that the staff member who tested positive for Covid-19 last week was now officially classed as a "false positive" and "all the FAI staff member's close contacts are no longer subject to restrictions of their movements".

Technically, that frees up Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah, who had returned to their clubs after missing the Slovakia game, to rejoin the squad.