Football: Evans pleads Babb's innocence
Wednesday 30 April 1997
"He was given the weekend off by us after being left out of Ireland's original squad. Is he supposed to sit at home 24 hours a day waiting for the Irish FA to ring?" Evans said.
The news will come as another embarrassment to McCarthy who knows the game in Buch- arest could make or break him as an international manager. After dropping a point at home to Iceland and a humiliating defeat, 3- 2 in Macedonia, something special is required to revive Irish hopes of qualification.
McCarthy refused to announce his team until today but did reveal that his plan will be boldly to attack Romania despite the home team's 100 per cent record in Group Eight - five straight wins without conceding a goal.
"This was always going to be our most demanding game. Romania are a good side but we will use three attacking players against them whenever we can."
The pressure building up on McCarthy was obvious yesterday when he replied to a question on his own future with an obscene eight letter word. "If you can print that then do so. I am sick and tired of being asked that question - by Irishman, Englishmen, Romanians, the lot."
McCarthy will be forced to make changes with Jason McAteer and Alan McLoughlin already out suspended. There could also be a return from the 3-5-2 to the 4-4-2 system, with Gary Kelly given a man- marking role to curb Romania's play-maker, Gheorghe Hagi. Watford's David Connolly, out for much of the season with a hamstring injury, looks set to partner Tony Cascarino up front.
Meanwhile Barcelona's Gica Popescu, who has already scored eight goals in the qualifiers, appears to be winning his battle to recover from a thigh injury and start the match for Romania.
P W D L F A Pts
Romania 5 5 0 0 19 0 15
Macedonia 6 3 1 2 18 10 10
Rep of Ireland 4 2 1 1 10 3 7
Lithuania 4 2 0 2 4 5 6
Iceland 4 0 2 2 1 7 2
Liechtenstein 5 0 0 5 2 29 0
Remaining fixtures: Today: Liechtenstein v Lithuania; Romania v Republic of Ireland. 21 May: Republic of Ireland v Liechtenstein. 7 June: Macedonia v Iceland. 11 June: Iceland v Lithuania. 19 Aug: Liechtenstein v Iceland. 20 Aug: Rep of Ireland v Lithuania; Romania v Macedonia. 6 Sept: Iceland v Rep of Ireland; Liechtenstein v Romania; Lithuania v Macedonia. 10 Sept: Romania v Iceland; Lithuania v Rep of Ireland. 11 Oct: Iceland v Liechtenstein; Rep of Ireland v Romania; Macedonia v Lithuania.
Latest in Sport
Brighton vs Arsenal: FA Cup match preview
Cristiano Ronaldo vine: Real Madrid forward sent-off for kicking and striking opponent during 2-1 win over Cordoba
What time is the 2015 WWE Royal Rumble on? TV details and full card
Sam Burgess: Bath and England's next big thing
Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 1 Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
- 2 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 3 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...