Charlton will wait for Keane

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The Independent Online
Jack Charlton, the Republic of Ireland manager, has left a place open for Roy Keane in his squad to face the Netherlands in the European Championship qualifying play-off match at Anfield on 13 December.

The Manchester United midfield player had a hernia operation three weeks ago and missed Ireland's 3-0 defeat in Portugal. He has played in only three of his country's 10 ties in Group Six, in which they finished second.

Charlton, though, is determined to give him every chance of appearing in the Anfield decider and will stay in contact with Keane's club manager, Alex Ferguson, to monitor the progress of the player's recovery.

Charlton names only 21 players, with the Manchester City striker Niall Quinn suspended after receiving his second yellow card of the qualifying tournament in Portugal.

"If it can be proved that Keane has recovered from his injury, I would still like to have him in the squad and I will leave it as long as possible to see what can be done," Charlton said.

Meanwhile, Charlton's decision to once more invoke the five-day international rule, giving him first call on players from the Saturday before the Anfield decider, has caused consternation among Premiership clubs who face a full programme on the prior weekend.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SQUAD (European Championship qualifying play-off v Netherlands, Liverpool FC, 13 December): A Kelly (Sheffield Utd), Bonner (Celtic), Irwin (Manchester Utd), G Kelly (Leeds), Kenna (Blackburn), McGrath (Aston Villa), Babb (Liverpool), Phelan (Chelsea), Staunton (Aston Villa), Sheridan (Sheffield Wednesday), Houghton (Aston Villa), McAteer (Bolton), Milligan (Norwich), Townsend (Aston Villa), McLoughlin (Portsmouth), D Kelly (Sunderland), Aldridge (Tranmere), Cascarino (Marseille), Kennedy (Liverpool), Morris (Middlesbrough), Kernaghan (Manchester City).

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