herald

Sunday 20 October 2019

McGeady worry for Trap

DAMIEN Duff has revealed his frustration at missing out on Ireland's World Cup double header against Bulgaria and Italy.

But Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni may be forced to take on Bulgaria at Croke Park tomorrow night without both of his first-choice wingers as Aiden McGeady is now a serious doubt for the Group 8 tie due to his foot injury.

Trapattoni's game plan for the clash with Bulgaria has to be rethought as Duff, who has started the last three games for Ireland, and McGeady, who has started in all four qualifiers so far, are both likely to miss out.

Duff was today back in Newcatle for treatment on the hamstring injury which has deprived him of his 73rd cap but the 30-year-old was distraught at missing out on the games.

"I am devastated, these are two massive games for Ireland and all I wanted to do was play in them," Duff told the Evening Herald.

Trapattoni will assess McGeady's fitness after today's training session but as of this morning the outlook was not good for the Celtic man.

Ireland coach Liam Brady has confirmed that Reading's Stephen Hunt will fill in for Duff and start on the left side of midfield, though there may be some slight concern over Hunt's readiness as he has been on the bench for Reading's last two games as Steve Coppell's side are going through a terrible run of form.

But Trapattoni has a headache in filling McGeady's boots, if the 22-year-old loses his fitness battle.

Andy Keogh has already started a game under Trapattoni, playing on the left wing against Colombia to great effect, and Keogh may get the nod to start on the wing, though Trapattoni is also a fan of QPR man Liam Miller.

But many fans will today be wondering, as Ireland face this winger crisis ahead of two massive games, just why is Andy Reid resting in Sunderland instead of being in Dublin and pressing for a place in the starting line-up, or at least a place on the bench.

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