Soccer Digest: Aiden McGeady ready for Euro challenge
After losing Keith Fahey to a groin injury on Saturday night, Trapattoni won’t take any chances with the likes of Shay Given, John O’Shea, Darren O’Dea, Kevin Foley and Stephen Kelly who are all receiving treatment for knocks at the team’s Italian training camp.
Ireland were due to play a low key friendly against a local side in Italy on Tuesday night and will wrap up their Euro preparations against Hungary next Monday when all players must prove they are fit for the opening game against Croatia.
Given (knee) and O’Shea (ankle) are causing most concern but they did manage some light training on Monday.
“They will have to show us on Monday they are ready. Richard Dunne showed that to us on Friday,” said Trapattoni.
Trapattoni expects Given to return to full training on Wednesday with O’Shea to follow later in the week. “Given is all right for Wednesday training and John O’Shea will be 90% ready to play,” he said.
Paul Green has revealed his shock at his Euro 2012 call-up but insisted, “I’m good enough to play in the championships.”
The midfielder, who left Derby County when his contract expired at the end of the season, was a late call-up when Birmingham’s Fahey was ruled out.
Many pundits have criticized Trapattoni’s decision to opt for Green ahead of Wes Hoolahan but the midfielder insisted, “Everybody is allowed their opinion. I just come out here and do what I can.
“I think I can cope at this level. I would not be out here and I don’t think the manager would have me here if he did not think that.”
CELTIC striker Gary Hooper fancies a move to Barcelona – but only after his Parkhead contract expires in 2014.
Hooper told the Scottish Sun, “There’s no rush as I am happy at Celtic. We have the Champions League next season which I am looking forward to.
“We have the qualifiers to come and at the moment I am looking to my two years at Celtic. But one day Premier League. One day England. And then one day, Barcelona. That is the aim for me.
“We are seeing where these contract talks go but as far as I am concerned I have two years left at Celtic.”
HOLDERS Sligo Rovers are out of the FAI Cup after a shock defeat at home to Monaghan United in the third round last Friday night.
Beaten finalists Shelbourne had to go to a replay to see off Bray while Shamrock Rovers were 1-0 winners over Limerick. St. Pat’s hammered local rivals Crumlin 3-0 while non-league Cherry Orchard shocked former winners Longford Town . . .
SPANISH manager Vicente Del Bosque has kept faith with Chelsea striker Fernando Torres in his Euro 2012 squad after a long term injury ruled Barcelona’s David Villa out of the tournament . . .
ITALY have axed defender Domenico Criscito from their European Championship squad after police confirmed he is under investigation in a match fixing scandal . . .
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