Sports Digest - Recovering Darron Gibson to miss Poland game
Gibson out for Poland friendly, may return for World Cup fixtures
Darron Gibson turned down the chance to play for Ireland against Poland in Wednesday night’s friendly, but could return for the crucial World Cup fixtures against Sweden and Austria next month.
The Everton midfielder made his return after injury in Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Aston Villa but didn’t think he was fit enough to replace the injured David Meyler in the Irish squad.
Gibson has yet to play since “retiring” after the Euros, but assistant boss Marco Tardelli revealed he was approached about a return this week and is keen to play again.
Tardelli said on Monday, “This morning, Meyler told us that he was going back home and we spoke with Darron and he told us that he has played just one match and he would prefer to stay at home because he is not available.
“He has a little problem after the match. I think Darron wanted to come here with us. The next match, maybe yes.
“He said, ‘I have a little problem.’ He is not available for this match. He was in Malaga because there is a little training camp with Everton.
“It’s no problem to come for another match. Why not for Sweden? Always when we need a player and the player wants to come with the Irish team, we are very happy.
“I don’t understand why this problem exists. It’s not my problem, it’s not Gibson’s problem.”
Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni, meanwhile, has told Richard Dunne he wants him available for the games against Sweden and Austria in March.
Dunne is still struggling to overcome a troublesome groin injury and may yet require further surgery in America, but Trap has yet to rule the Aston Villa defender out of the World Cup double header.
Trapattoni said on Sunday, “He wished to be here for the Poland game on Wednesday but it’s better that he undergoes all the medical tests at the club and recovers fully. The club sent him to the United States make another check. But I said take it easy as we need you in March.
“I hope he rests for one week more and if he checks he can come back. It’s enough he plays one or two games and he can be ready for us.”
Trapattoni has also warned goalkeeper Keiren Westwood to leave Sunderland after picking Millwall’s David Forde to play against Poland on Wednesday night.
The Italian also confirmed that Forde is now in the driving seat to face Sweden and Austria next month as Westwood remains on the bench at his club.
He said, “The goalkeeper is a particularly delicate position. I don’t worry about an outfield player if he is not playing for his club, but a goalkeeper is alone on the pitch and if he hasn’t been playing then it’s more difficult psychologically.
“I hope Westwood can play in the future, but now the Sunderland manager chooses Mignolet. I told him you can change club and you can play. But with Forde and Stephen Henderson we are okay. It’s important we give Forde this opportunity.”
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